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Pak court clears way for registration of Saeed's political party

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

A court has ordered the election commission to allow the registration of terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's as a political party.

The order came days after a extended a stay against the "possible arrest" of the JuD till April 4.

The (IHC) yesterday set aside a decision by the (ECP) to reject the application of Jamaat-ud-Dawah's political front (MML) for registration as a political party.

Justice sent the case back to the ECP asking it to proceed further on the application by giving the party an opportunity of hearing, Dawn newspaper reported.

The MML through its approached the IHC and made the ECP and the respondents in the matter.

Challenging the ECP's order of October 11, 2017, the petition described it unreasonable, illegal as well as against the Constitution and the law.

"Article 17 (2) of the Constitution confers a fundamental right on every citizen, not being in the service of Pakistan, to form or to be a member of a political party, subject to any reasonable restriction imposed by the law in the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of Pakistan," the petitioner maintained.

He prayed to the court to set aside the order and direct the ECP to scrutinise the documents afresh, strictly in accordance with the law and enlist the party.

The ECP had turned down the plea of the MML because of its alleged links with banned militant outfits.

The ECP took the decision on the basis of a letter from the which had asked the commission to ban the MML for having links with banned militant outfits.

The ministry had stated that the JuD and its charity (FIF) were banned organisations under the Security Council Act 1948.

The court's latest order also comes in the backdrop of a meeting of the (FATF), an intergovernmental money-laundering watchdog, that put Pakistan on a grey list.

At the FATF meeting in last month, Saeed and his "charities" were top on the list of the groups that the FATF wanted Pakistan to act against.

The has designated Saeed as a global terrorist.

Saeed, who is accused of having masterminded the November 2008 attack, was also placed on the terrorism black list by the in December 2008.

The banned JuD was released from the house arrest in November last year after the decided against detaining him further in any other case. He was under house arrest since January last year.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 09 2018. 10:25 IST