New offshoot of banned JuD resume political activities in Pakistan

NewsDrum Desk
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Lahore, Jul 8 (PTI) After a break of some five months, the political offshoot of banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) of the Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed has resumed its political activities in Pakistan by holding a demonstration here in Punjab province.

The Pakistan Markazi Muslim League (PMML), believed to be the new face of the banned groups of Saeed, held a demonstration against inflation and increase in electricity and gas prices against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in Lahore on Friday.

The protest was addressed by Tabiah Qayyum and Muzammil Iqbal Hashmi who were added to the US’ list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists in 2018.

Interestingly, the government of Maryam Nawaz in Punjab has imposed a ban on the assembly of four or more people under Section 144 to maintain peace and order in Lahore to stop former prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from holding any protest for the release of their jailed leader (Khan).

The PMML, believed to be a new face of the banned groups of incarcerated Hafiz Saeed, had taken part in the February 2024 general elections.

Some of the candidates nominated by this organisation from different cities of Pakistan are those who are either relatives of Saeed or have been associated with banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) or Milli Muslim League (MML) in the past.

The protest against inflation last Friday was the first "open political activity" held by the PMML after last February elections.

"We will continue holding protests across the country to put pressure on the government to take measures to control mehangai (inflation)," Tabish Qayyum said during his address.

He said the PML-N government instead of taking austerity measures had put all the burden on the masses by imposing huge taxes. Qayyum said that on the next stage the PMML might stage a sit-in against the government if it failed to give relief to the masses.

As the PMML is the 'new political face' of the JuD, a spokesman of the party denied any affiliation with Saeed's organisations.

Saeed, the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, has been sentenced for multiple years by Pakistan's anti-terrorism courts in several cases of financing terrorism and has been imprisoned in Lahore.

He was on December 10, 2008, included in the list of 'global terrorists' by the UN.

Pakistan also listed LeT, JuD and its affiliated parties and institutions, including Khair Naas International Trust, Falah Insaniyat Foundation, Al-Anfal Trust, Khamtab Khalq Institution, Al-Dawwat Al-Arshad, Al-Hamad Trust, Al-Madinah Foundation and Mu'az bin Jabal Educational Trust, in the list of banned organisations. PTI MZ ZH AKJ ZH ZH