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.


Zimbabwe rally blast injured 41: minister

Updated 3 min 49 sec ago
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Zimbabwe rally blast injured 41: minister

  • A blast that rocked a rally in which Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa narrowly escaped unscathed injured at least 41 people, including his two deputies
  • Footage circulating on social media showed an explosion and plumes of smoke around the president as he descended stairs from the podium at the city’s White City stadium

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe: A blast that rocked a rally in which Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa narrowly escaped unscathed injured at least 41 people, including his two deputies, the health minister told a state Sunday paper.
Health Minister David Parirenyatwa, said wounded rallygoers had been treated at three main hospitals across the city and “a total of 41... have so far approached our health institutions complaining of injuries.”
Footage circulating on social media showed an explosion and plumes of smoke around the president as he descended stairs from the podium at the city’s White City stadium.
Mnangagwa said he was the target of the attack, which also injured Vice Presidents Kembo Mohadi and Constantino Chiwenga.
The device “exploded a few inches away from me — but it is not my time,” the president told state broadcaster on Saturday night, blaming the attack on his “mortal enemies.”
“These are my mortal enemies and the attempts have been so many.
“It’s not the first attempt (on) my life. I’m used to it. Six times my office has been broken into; cyanide was put in my offices so many times. I will continue.”
The health minister said some of those wounded had lost limbs and some would require “serious surgery,” suggesting the number of injured could rise as the government was still consolidating numbers from the various hospitals.
“We have no fatalities so far,” said Parirenyatwa.
Mnangagwa, who was quickly rushed away from the scene of the explosion, later visited the injured in hospital.
While Bulawayo has long been a bastion of opposition to the ZANU-PF and it was Mnangagwa’s first rally in the city, commentators suggest the attack could have been instigated by internal ructions within the ruling party.
The polls in five weeks will be the first since Zimbabwe’s veteran leader Robert Mugabe resigned following a brief military takeover in November last year after 37 years in power.
The intervention by the army was led by Chiwenga who was then head of the armed forces.
The vote will be a key test for Mnangagwa, 75, who succeeded the 94-year-old autocrat and remains untested at the ballot box.
He has pledged to hold free and fair elections as he seeks to mend international relations and have sanctions against Zimbabwe dropped.
Previous elections in Zimbabwe have been marred by electoral fraud, intimidation and violence, including the killing of scores of opposition supporters in 2008.