US Designates Hafiz Saeed's LeT Front Milli Muslim League As A Terrorist Outfit

| April 3 , 2018 , 09:14 IST

The United States on Monday officially designated Milli Muslim League (MML) as a foreign terrorist organisation. MML is considered to be a front of designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed's militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and is campaigned as a political party under Saeed's name.

"LeT members make up MML's leadership and the so-called party openly displays Saeed's likeness in its election banners and literature," the US State Department said.

Apart from MML, Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir (TAJK), considered to be another front of LeT, was also designated as a terrorist outfit. In addition, 7 members of MML central leadership were also designated as foreign terrorists.

The 7 MML central leadership body members that have been designated as terrorist are: Saifullah Khalid (president), Muzammil Iqbal Hashimi (vice president), Muhammad Harris Dar (Joint Secretary), Tabish Qayyuum (Information Secretary), Fayyaz Ahmad (General Secretary), Faisal Nadeem (Broadcast and Publications Secretary), and Muhammad Ehsan (Finance Secretary).

While LeT was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) group on December 26, 2001, several front organisations have sprung up over the years.

The MML was created in August 2017 by Saeed himself as a political front for LeT, but MML was not able to produce its clearance certificate by Pakistan's interior ministry for registration as a political party as directed by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

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The US State Department said that the designation of MML and TAJK as terrorist organisations was aimed at denying LeT the resources it would need to plan and carry out further terrorist attacks.

"Both MML and TAJK are LeT fronts created to circumvent the sanctions against it (LeT)...Today's amendments take aim at LeT's efforts to circumvent sanctions and deceive the public about its true character," said Nathan A Sales, coordinator for counterterrorism at the Department of State.

"Make no mistake: whatever LeT chooses to call itself, it remains a violent terrorist group. The US supports all efforts to ensure that LeT does not have a political voice until it gives up violence as a tool of influence," Sales said.

"LeT continues to operate freely within Pakistan, holding public rallies, raising funds, and plotting and training for terrorist attacks," the State Department said.

The Treasury Department said that "all property and interests in property of these persons subject to US jurisdiction are blocked" and US citizens are banned from having any transactions with them.