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'Milli Muslim League' - the political party launched by Hafiz Saeed is looking to revive the Khalistan movement in India
The grand master of international terrorism and chief of banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Hafiz Mohammad Saeed has entered into mainstream electoral politics of Pakistan and floated (August 7, 2017, Islamabad) a political party viz. 'Milli Muslim League (MML)' through his close confident Saifullah Khalid.

The MML was launched by Hafiz Saeed to revive the idea of making Pakistan an 'Islamic welfare state' and to support the so-called struggle in Kashmir.

Primarily, MML is the political wing of banned Pakistani terrorist organisation JuD, which has been conceived by terror-master Hafiz Saeed to legitimise his perilous actions, especially in Kashmir, as well as to prevent international pressure and sanction(s) in future. By forming MML, Hafiz Saeed also intends to make the international community to conjecture that he is a firm "believer" in the democratic process, apparently a ploy to avoid being labelled as merely a terrorist. 

The party is active on social media platforms like  Twitter, Facebook and YouTube where anti-India material and photos are being uploaded and alleged atrocities on Kashmiris by Indian security forces are being highlighted.

Launching of MML was announced by Saifullah Khalid, senior leader of the JuD and an Islamic scholar in a well-attended press conference at National Press Club, in Islamabad on August 7, 2017. 

While Saifullah Khalid has been appointed as the president of MML by Hafiz Saeed, other central office bearers of MML are: Vice President Muzzamal Iqbal Hashmi, General Secretary Fayyaz Ahmed, Joint Secretary Mohd Haris, Finance Secretary Muhammad Ehsan, Information Secretary Tabish Qayyum, and Publications Secretary Faisal Nadeed Sheikh.  

Saifullah Khalid, in his opening address in the said press conference (August 7, 2017, Islamabad) claimed that MML had been launched to make Pakistan a real "Islamic welfare state". He claimed that MML had no direct links with Hafiz Saeed-led JuD but both MML and JuD were affiliated with each other "ideologically" for the betterment of the country. 

He praised Hafiz Saeed for rendering "selfless" services to the cause of Kashmir as well as to the needy people in Pakistan, particularity in Tharparkar, in Sindh, Punjab (Pakistan) and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). He also criticised Hafiz Saeed's house arrest since January 31, 2017, without any case against him and described it as a display of weakness by the Pakistani government. He lashed out at the corrupt politicians of the country and vowed to implement the ideology of Pakistan in accordance with the 1973 Constitution and the vision of Mohd Ali Jinnah. Saifullah Khalid also severely criticised India and USA for allegedly conspiring against Pakistan.

MML is also roping in Pakistan's minorities, particularly Pakistani Sikhs. They are being invited in MML's public meetings for involving them in garnering support for the party. One Sardar Gopal Singh Chawla, who is General Secretary of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) and  Chairman of  Punjabi Sikh Sangat, Pakistan, joined and addressed a public meeting (August 13, 2017, Lahore) of MML.

Chawla announced support of Pakistani Sikh community as well as from the Sikhs settled in United Kingdom, USA, Canada to Hafiz Saeed and MML. In his address, Chawla aired anti-Indian views in favour of Khalistanis and Indian Kashmiris.

While claiming himself to be trained a Khalistani militant, Chawla described Indian Hindus as "dogs" and used derogatory language against Prime Minister Modi. He declared that it is only Hafiz Saeed who could achieve independence for Indian Sikhs and Kashmiris from the clutches of Indian government.

Later, while addressing (August 14, 2017, Lahore) a well-attended MML public rally called "Istehkaam Pakistan Conference", Saifullah Khalid, the MML Chief declared that supporting the so-called Kashmir struggle was " their faith". He also assured that his party would provide an honest government and would soon launch a movement to revive Pakistan's ideology.

Head of political affairs and acting chief of JuD, Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki, in his address claimed that politics of MML was based on unity, and on the texts of Jinnah and thoughts of Iqbal. He also announced the party's support to Kashmiris and criticised Nawaz Sharif for betraying Kashmiris in their so-called "just struggle" and announced continued support to Kashmiris in their struggle against India.  

Former federal information minister Muhammad Ali Durrani also addressed the conference and declared that the party would eliminate friends of Prime Minister Modi from Pakistan.

Since MML is yet to be registered by the Election Commission of Pakistan, the party has decided to field Qari Yaqoub Sheikh as an independent candidate against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif's wife Kulsoom Sharif for the Lahore seat of the National Assembly which has fallen vacant after Nawaz Sharif's disqualification.

Qari Yaqoub Sheikh, a prominent leader of the JuD, has been a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba's (LeT's) central advisory committee, and has also served as a leader in LeT's foreign affairs department. Later, he remained associated with the JuD and a leader of banned Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), which was a charity organisation and a subsidiary of the JuD, but was banned.  

Meanwhile, MML has also held public rallies at several other places in Pakistan, including Islamabad, Bahawalnagar and Faisalabad. In Bahawalnagar, Rana Saifullah, the district president of the party, addressed a press conference and declared that Pakistan would celebrate "real independence day" with the liberation of Kashmir. He emphasised the need for the nation to stand up against the alleged Indian aggression in Kashmir and on the borders of Pakistan.

Hafiz Saeed's plunging into national electoral mainstream is being seen as a political effort to woo moderate Pakistanis by forming a front with Islamic political parties like Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazal). However, he may not achieve the desired political goals on internal issues by forging such alliances as their representation in Pakistan's National Assembly has been decreasing rapidly. Incidentally, Jammat-e-Islami has only four members and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazal) has only thirteen seats in the current 342-member National Assembly.

It is a well known fact that Hafiz Saeed and his banned terrorist outfit JeD have tactical support of the Pakistan army, primarily for carrying out destructive and terrorist activities in Kashmir, therefore, the fact that his floating a political party could be at the behest of Pakistan army ahead of the next general elections in Pakistan due in June 2018, cannot be ruled out.

Pakistan army, in a calculated move, first removing Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister and then allowing Hafiz Saeed to join the country's electoral mainstream by forming a political party is nothing less than providing legitimacy to Hafiz Saeed's questionable activities in Pakistan and terrorist activities in India. 

Although MML Chief Saifullah Khalid has claimed that his party would not be in "touch" with Hafeez Saeed for political activities, the MM is bound to be dictated by the Pakistan army and Hafiz Saeed on future Indo-Pak relations and might play the role of a spoiler in improving relations between the two countries.

In addition, Pakistan army is also likely to use MML to put pressure on the present and future governments to follow a hard line approach on Kashmir, which is bound to adversely affect Indo-Pak relations in the future.

Thus, Pakistan army has found another effective pressure group on the Kashmir issue in the Hafiz Saeed guided political party, Milli Muslim League (MML).

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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