India Welcomes U.S. Move to Put Pakistan-Based Group on List of Terror Outfits

India welcomed the move, calling it "vindication" of the country's position that Pakistan has not taken effective action against terrorist groups or individuals.


The United States put Milli Muslim League (MML) — the political front of Islamic militant Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud Dawa — as a foreign terrorist organization on April 2, NDTV reported. It also named seven members of MML as foreign terrorists, in a move that India said “vindicates” its stand.

The United States also added Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir (TAJK), a supposed front of the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), to the list of terrorist groups. This was done to bottleneck the resources LeT gets to plan and carry out terrorist attacks, according to the U.S. state department.

“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,” Nathan A Sales, coordinator for Counterterrorism at the Department of State, was quoted as saying in the report.

“Make no mistake: whatever LeT chooses to call itself, it remains a violent terrorist group. The U.S. supports all efforts to ensure that LeT does not have a political voice until it gives up violence as a tool of influence,” he added.

The property and interests of the LeT, which are subject to U.S. jurisdiction, have been blocked.

According to the U.S. State Department, LeT members make up MML’s top leadership. “The so-called party openly displays Saeed’s likeness in its election banners and literature,” it said.

This came just a day after Pakistan’s Election Commission asked MML to hand in a clearance certificate from interior ministry for its registration as a political party. The Election Commission had rejected the party’s application before as the interior ministry objected to its ties with banned militant outfits.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury named seven members of the MML central leadership body for acting on behalf of the LeT: Saifullah Khalid, Muzammil Iqbal Hashimi, Muhammad Harris Dar, Tabish Qayyuum, Fayyaz Ahmad, Faisal Nadeem, and Muhammad Ehsan.

The LeT was named as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and Specially Designated Global Terrorist group on December 26, 2001.

Speaking about the move, Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said in a statement: “India welcomes the action taken by U.S. for designating the Milli Muslim League as an alias of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a Pakistan based terrorist group and its functionaries who are acting on behalf of LeT.

“It vindicates India’s position that Pakistan has not taken effective action against terrorist groups and individuals. It is also cognizant of the fact that terrorist individuals and entities are allowed to change names and continue to operate freely from territory under Pakistan’s control.”

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