More than 200 MML candidates in election race despite denial of registration

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President Milli Muslim League, Saifullah Khalid, along with other office-bearers addressing press conference at Karachi Press Club here on Wednesday, April, 4, 2018 (AN Photo)
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President Milli Muslim League, Saifullah Khalid, along with other office-bearers addressing press conference at Karachi Press Club here on Wednesday, April, 4, 2018 (AN Photo)
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Screen grab of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s list of symbols being allotted to 113 political parties, including AAT, which the MML has made an umbrella for contesting the general elections of 2018.
Updated 13 June 2018
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More than 200 MML candidates in election race despite denial of registration

  • Candidates of the Milli Muslim League (MML), an offshoot of Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), will contest elections under the umbrella of little-known Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek (AAT) from across Pakistan, after election commission denies registration
  • MML spokesman accuses government of creating obstacles in registration of MML because of Indian pressure

KARACHI: More than 200 candidates of the Milli Muslim League (MML) will contest seats in the national and four provincial assemblies of Pakistan under the umbrella of Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek (AAT) after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) canceled its registration as a political party.
“More than 200 candidates of the MML will contest elections with symbol of a chair and as candidates of AAT, with which we have made election alliance,” the MML Karachi spokesman and candidate for the constituency PS-111, Muhammad Asif, told Arab News.
According to the ECP website, the election body has allotted election symbols to 103 political parties. Allah-o-Akbar Party, present in the list at No-9, has been allotted a chair as the symbol.
Asif said the AAT was registered with the ECP some 15 years ago and contested the 2013 general elections with a cow as the party symbol.
According to an MML spokesman, the party is also in the process of forging an electoral alliance with different factions of Pakistan Muslim League sans??? Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N).
“We expect that election alliance will be announced in the next couple of days,” Asif said, adding that the party was also in talks with the Sindh’s Grand Democratic Alliance, led by Chief of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional Pir Pagara, Pir Sibghatullah Rashidi, for seat adjustments in Karachi.
On Wednesday, a four-member bench of the ECP decided against registering MML as a political party based on a report by the Interior Ministry which expressed reservations over the MML having links with Hafiz Saeed, chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which has been declared by the US as a terrorist organization.
The MML central spokesperson, Tabish Qayyum, rejected the Interior Ministry’s report. “Despite Islamabad High Court’s clear decision, it is highly regrettable not to enlist MML. Governmental officials are using illegal and non-constitutional ways to please foreign powers,” he told Arab News.
“The government is creating obstacles in the registration of MML due to Indian pressure,” he continued.
“MML is a peaceful political party and has the right to continue its political activities, which are exactly in accordance with the law and constitution,” Qayyum said.
Qayyum says the party will soon release a list of its candidates, but he confirmed that Muzammal Iqbal Hashimi and Talha Saeed from the top leadership will contest elections. Hashimi, along with MML central president Saifullah Khalid and five others, was placed on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists on April 2.
A day earlier, the MML announced the names of 24 candidates who would contest different national and provincial assembly constituencies of Karachi.
According to a handout sent to Arab News, the MML has fielded its central leader Muzammil Iqbal Hashimi in NA-242 and NA-243. Mudassir Chaudary Advocate and Ataullah will contest NA-244 and NA-250, while a female candidate will be the party’s contender for NA-251.
The party has fielded Muhammad Anees Ansar, Imran Saleem, Moiz Shehzad, Ali Gabol, Muhammad, Fahad Yusuf, Hakeem Sajid and Ubaid for the seats of the provincial assembly. Mudassir Chaudary Advocate, Muhammad Asif, Chaudary Ejaz, Amjad Islam Amjad, Nadir Khan, Imdad Ali, Zahid Anwar, Sher Bahadur, Naseer Ahmed and Abdul Waheed Bandhani and Ahsan Habib are also the party candidates on different provincial assembly seats.
The Milli Muslim League, a group proscribed by the US in 2018, had announced it would push for its registration as a political party with the Election Commission of Pakistan but if that failed it would field independent candidates from across Pakistan.


Death toll from Mozambique, Zimbabwe floods exceeds 300 as UN boosts aid

A picture taken on March 18, 2019, shows a man taking pictures of a large crack in the ground as a Zimbabwean soldier helps guide pedestrians across a bridge on the Risitu River during search and rescue operations in the wake of devastating floods and mudslides caused when Cyclone Idai struck Zimbabwe in Chimanimani, Manicaland Province. (AFP)
Updated 44 min 36 sec ago
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Death toll from Mozambique, Zimbabwe floods exceeds 300 as UN boosts aid

  • Worst hit was Chimanimani in Manicaland, an eastern province which borders Mozambique

BEIRA, Mozambique: The death toll from a cyclone that smashed into Mozambique and Zimbabwe rose to more than 300 on Tuesday as rescuers raced against the clock to help survivors and the UN led the charge to provide aid.
“We already have more than 200 dead, and nearly 350,000 people are at risk,” Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi announced, while the government in Zimbabwe said around 100 people had died but the toll could be triple that figure.
The UN, meanwhile, said that one of the worst storms to hit southern Africa in decades had also unleashed a humanitarian crisis in Malawi, affecting nearly a million people and forcing more than 80,000 from their homes.
Four days after Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall, emergency teams in central Mozambique fanned out in boats and helicopters, seeking to pluck survivors from roofs and treetops in an inland sea of floodwater, sometimes in the dead of night.
Air force personnel from Mozambique and South Africa were drafted in to fly rescue missions, while an NGO called Rescue South Africa said it had picked up 34 people since Friday night, using three helicopters.
“It is the only way to access the people that are stranded,” Rescue SA’s Abrie Senekal told AFP, saying the NGO was trying to hire more helicopters.

Ian Scher, who heads Rescue SA, said the helicopter teams were having to make difficult decisions.
“Sometimes we can only save two out of five, sometimes we drop food and go to someone else who’s in bigger danger,” he said.
“We just save what we can save and the others will perish.”
In Nhamatanda, some 60 kilometers (40 miles) northwest of Beira, 27-year-old Jose Batio and his wife and children survived by climbing onto a roof.
But a lot of their neighbors “were swept by the water,” he said.
“Water came like a tsunami and destroyed most things. We were prisoners on the roof,” he told AFP after they were rescued by boat.
The city of Beira, Mozambique’s second largest city and a major port, was immediately cut off after the storm. According to the Red Cross, the cyclone damaged or destroyed 90 percent of the city of half a million people.
President Nyusi, speaking on Tuesday after attending a cabinet meeting in the ravaged city, said the confirmed death toll stood at 202 and nearly 350,000 were “at risk.”
The government declared a national emergency and ordered three days of national mourning, he said.
“We are in an extremely difficult situation,” Nyusi said, warning of high tides and waves of around eight meters (26 feet) in the coming days.
On Monday, Nyusi had said he feared more than 1,000 had died and more than 100,000 people were in danger.

The storm also lashed eastern Zimbabwe, leaving around 100 dead, a toll that could be as much as 300, local government minister July Moyo said after a cabinet briefing.
“I understand there are bodies which are floating, some have floated all the way to Mozambique,” he said.
“The total number, we were told they could be 100, some are saying there could be 300. But we cannot confirm this situation,” he said.
At least 217 others are missing and 44 stranded, officials said.
Worst hit was Chimanimani in Manicaland, an eastern province which borders Mozambique.
Families started burying their dead in damp graves on Monday, as injured survivors filled up the hospitals, an AFP correspondent said.
Military helicopters were airlifting people to Mutare, the largest city near Chimanimani.
The storm swept away homes and bridges, devastating huge areas in what Defense Minister Perrance Shiri said “resembles the aftermath of a full-scale war.”
Some roads were swallowed by massive sinkholes, while bridges were ripped to pieces by flash floods.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said it was mobilizing aid for some 600,000 people, saying the world did not yet appreciate the scale of the “massive disaster.”
So far, it has dispatched more than five tons of emergency provisions to the affected areas.
“WFP aims to support 500,000 to 600,000 people in the coming weeks,” spokesman Herve Verhoosel told reporters in Geneva.
“I don’t think that the world (has) realized yet the scale of the problem,” he said.
In Malawi, 920,000 people have been affected by the cyclone and 82,000 people have been displaced, the UN said.
“OCHA (the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) has deployed resources to support assessments and information management, and UNICEF is deploying additional supplies to affected areas including tents, water and sanitation supplies and learning materials to affected children,” it said.