India welcomed the US designating Pakistan-based Milli Muslim League (MML), an alias of Lashkar-e-Taiba, as a foreign terror organisation, saying the decision reflects rejection of the attempts being made in Pakistan to mainstream terrorist individuals and entities. Reacting to the US move, the external affairs ministry said the designation of the MML also shows Pakistan’s failure to dismantle terror sanctuaries in that country and vindicated India’s position that Islamabad has not taken effective action against terrorist groups and individuals. “It is also cognisance of the fact that terrorist individuals and entities are allowed to change names and continue to operate freely from territory under Pakistan’s control,” the ministry said in a statement.
In a major setback to Hafiz Saeed’s political ambitions, the US designated the MML, the political front of Pakistan-based Mumbai attack mastermind-led Jamaat-ud Dawa, as a foreign terrorist organisation. The MML is an alias of Lashkar-e-Taiba also. “India welcomes the action taken by the 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,” the MEA said.
The ministry said the designation of the MML is a rejection of the attempts being made in Pakistan to mainstream terrorist individuals and entities and highlights Pakistan’s failure to fulfil its international obligation to dismantle terrorist sanctuaries, and disrupt terror financing. The US also added Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir (TAJK) to the list of terrorist groups. TAJK is said to be a front of the LeT, which according to the Trump administration, continues to operate freely inside Pakistan.
The move comes a day after the Election Commission of Pakistan asked the MML to produce a clearance certificate by the interior ministry for its registration as a political party. General elections are scheduled to be held in Pakistan in July. Pakistan’s election commission had earlier rejected the MML’s application for registration as a political party after the interior ministry objected to its ties to banned militant outfits.
President of the MML, Khalid is also the head of LeT’s Peshawar headquarters and served on the JuD’s Coordination Committee for Central Punjab Province. The JuD was designated by the Department of State as an alias of the LeT pursuant April 2016 and was added to the United Nations Sanctions list as an alias of the LeT in December 2008.
The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans. It was declared as an FTO by the US in June 2014.