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.


Hong Kong bans pro-independence party

In this file photo taken on August 5, 2016, Andy Chan (R), leader of the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party (HKNP), gives a press conference at the start of a rally near the government's headquarters in Hong Kong. (AFP)
Updated 24 September 2018
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Hong Kong bans pro-independence party

  • The ban is likely to raise further questions about Beijing’s growing influence in the former British colony, which was promised semi-autonomy as part of the 1997 handover

HONG KONG: Authorities in Hong Kong on Monday took an unprecedented step against separatist voices by banning a political party that advocates independence for the southern Chinese territory on national security grounds.
John Lee, the territory’s secretary for security, announced that the Hong Kong National Party will be prohibited from operation from Monday.
Lee’s announcement did not provide further details. But Hong Kong’s security bureau had previously said in a letter to the National Party’s leader, 27-year-old Andy Chan, that the party should be dissolved “in the interests of national security or public safety, public order or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.” Chan had no immediate comment.
That letter had cited a national security law that has not been invoked since 1997. The ban is likely to raise further questions about Beijing’s growing influence in the former British colony, which was promised semi-autonomy as part of the 1997 handover. Chinese President Xi Jinping and other officials have warned separatist activity would not be tolerated.
Chan, the National Party leader, had previously told The Associated Press that police approached him with documents detailing his speeches and activities since the party’s formation in 2016.
The party was founded in response to frustration about Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong. Despite a promise of autonomy, activists complain mainland influence over its democratic elections is increasing.
Chan and other pro-independence candidates were disqualified from 2016 elections to the Hong Kong legislature after they refused to sign a pledge saying Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China. The Hong Kong National Party has never held any seats on the council.