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India welcomes US decision to declare Hafiz Saeed's Milli Muslim League as terrorist outfit

By Vikas

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday welcomed US' decision to designate Milli Muslim League (MML), the political front of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, as a foreign terrorist organisation. In a simultaneous move, the United States had also designated seven members of the MML's central leadership body as foreign terrorists.

File photo of JuD chief Hafiz Saeed

"India welcomes US' action for designating Milli Muslim League as an alias of LeT, a Pakistan based terrorist group and its functionaries who are acting on behalf of LeT. It vindicates India's position that Pakistan hasn't taken effective action against terrorist groups," an MEA statement said.

The US also added Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir (TAJK) to the list of terrorist groups. TAJK is said to be a front of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which according to the Trump administration, continues to operate freely inside Pakistan.

The move comes a day after the Election Commission of Pakistan asked the MML to produce a clearance certificate by the interior ministry for its registration as a political party. Pakistan's election commission had earlier rejected the MML's application for registration as a political party after the interior ministry objected to its ties to banned militant outfits.

The US State Department said the move was aimed at denying the LeT the resources it needs 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 LeTs 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.

[Hafiz Saeed's Milli Muslim League declared foreign terrorist organisation]

The LeT was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) group on December 26, 2001. Its leader, Saeed, is also designated as an SDGT. To avoid sanctions, the LeT has repeatedly changed its name over the years, the State Department alleged.

The state department also focused on not only exposing but even isolating such terror organisations and denying them access to the US financial system. The US also said that LeT continues to function openly within Pakistan, organising fundraisers, holding public rallies and training terrorists.

OneIndia News with PTI inputs

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