Char­ity linked to Mum­bai at­tacks backs new party

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

La­hore, Pak­istan - A Pak­istani char­ity linked to the 2008 Mum­bai at­tacks is back­ing a new po­lit­i­cal party which will con­test next year’s gen­eral elec­tion, an of­fi­cial said on Tues­day.

The of­fi­cial - a se­nior leader of Ja­maat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which is listed by the United Na­tions as a ter­ror outfit - said the newly formed Milli Mus­lim League Party had the ‘full’ back­ing of the char­ity’s chief Hafiz Saeed.

“The party will have full sup­port and back­ing of Hafiz Saeed. How­ever, this party will main­tain an in­de­pen­dent pos­ture while con­test­ing the next par­lia­men­tary elec­tion slated for 2018,” the se­nior leader told AFP.

The JuD is con­sid­ered by the US and In­dia to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the mil­i­tant group blamed for the at­tack on In­dia’s fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal that killed more than 160 peo­ple.

Ear­lier this year Saeed, who has a US$10mn bounty on his head, was placed un­der ‘pre­ven­ta­tive de­ten­tion’ by au­thor­i­ties.

Be­fore en­ter­ing house ar­rest, Saeed led a high-pro­file pub­lic life and reg­u­larly de­liv­ered fiery anti-In­dia speeches. The JuD has op­er­ated freely across the coun­try and is pop­u­lar for its char­ity work, es­pe­cially in the wake of nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

Saeed is be­lieved by the US State De­part­ment to be one of the mas­ter­minds of the Mum­bai at­tacks.

The hor­ror of the Mum­bai car­nage played out on live tele­vi­sion around the world as com­man­dos bat­tled the heav­ily armed gun­men, who ar­rived by sea on the evening of Novem­ber 26, 2008.

It took the au­thor­i­ties three days to re­gain full con­trol of the city and New Delhi has long said there is ev­i­dence that ‘of­fi­cial agen­cies’ in Pak­istan were in­volved in plot­ting the at­tack.

A file photo of Ja­maat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed (cen­tre)

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