New Delhi: India on Tuesday welcomed the designation of Pakistan’s Milli Muslim League (MML)—which New Delhi believes is an alias for the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group—as a foreign terrorist organization by the US.
The immediate effect of the US move is that the MML, formed by Lashkar chief Hafiz Saeed in August, will not be able to register itself as a political party in Pakistan, where national polls are expected to take place later this year. It comes a day after the Election Commission of Pakistan asked the MML to produce a clearance certificate by the Pakistan interior ministry for its registration as a political party, media reports from Pakistan said.
In a simultaneous move, seven members of the MML’s central leadership, too, were designated foreign terrorists by Washington. The US has also added the Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir (TAJK), which is said to be another front of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), to the list of terrorist groups.
“India welcomes the action taken by US for designating the Milli Muslim League as an alias of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a Pakistan based terrorist group and its functionaries who are acting on behalf of LeT," foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said in a statement.
India blames LeT and its chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed for the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack in which 166 people were killed. New Delhi has been pressing Islamabad to take action against Saeed but Islamabad has so far not taken any action against him.
“It vindicates India’s position that Pakistan has not taken effective action against terrorist groups and individuals. It is also cognizant of the fact that terrorist individuals and entities are allowed to change names and continue to operate freely from territory under Pakistan’s control," Kumar said.