A new political front organisation of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed has fielded candidates for most of the national and provincial assembly constituencies across Pakistan for the February 8 general elections, saying it wants to make the country an Islamic welfare state.
Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), has been in jail since 2019 after being convicted for several years in multiple terror finance cases along with some other leaders of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD).
The Pakistan Markazi Muslim League (PMML) party – set up by Saeed – says it is a political party. The electoral symbol for the PMML is ‘chair’.
In a video message, PMML President Khalid Masood Sindhu said that his party is contesting on most of the national and provincial assembly seats.
“We want to come to power not for corruption but to serve the people and make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state,” he said.
Sindhu is a candidate for NA-130 Lahore, from which Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremo and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is also contesting.
Saeed’s son Talha Saeed is contesting from Lahore’s NA-127.
When contacted, Sindhu denied his party’s link with Saeed’s outfit. “The PMML has no backing of Hafiz Saeed,” he claimed on Monday.
In 2018, the Milli Muslim League (MML) was the political face of JuD. It had fielded candidates on most seats, especially in Punjab province but failed to win a single seat.
For the 2024 polls, the PMML has been formed because of a ban on the MML.
The US has placed a USD 10 million bounty on Saeed, a UN-designated terrorist.
Saeed-led JuD is the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)