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MML to oppose PML-N candidate in NA-120 by-poll

Updated August 15, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The newly formed political party of Jamaatud Dawa (JuD), Milli Muslim League (MML), announced on Monday that it would oppose the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) candidate in the by-election for National Assembly constituency NA-120 (Lahore).

The PML-N has fielded Kulsoom Nawaz in the by-election for the seat which was vacated after ouster of her husband, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, by the Supreme Court.

During its first public rally here, the MML also expressed its support for JuD leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed. At the time of its launch about a week ago, MML leaders had said that the new party would not have a direct link with the JuD or Mr Saeed.

Speakers at the rally organised to mark the Independence Day criticised the former prime minister for what they called putting Mr Saeed in illegal confinement.

MML leader Prof Hafiz Abdul Rauf alleged that the former premier tried to put Mr Saeed on the Fourth Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 perhaps on account of his friendship with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He alleged that Mr Sharif was not accepting the verdict of the apex court for his ouster.

He blamed the former prime minister for derailing the Kashmir cause.

“We expect the kind of attitude against us from the US and India but the treatment meted out to us under your regime was nothing short of treachery with the people of Kashmir, which is actually deviating from the vision of Quaid-i-Azam,” he added.

He claimed that there was no case against Mr Saeed and courts had cleared him of all charges filed by the government, but he was still under house arrest.

Justifying the opposition to Kulsoom Nawaz’s candidacy, he said: “We are fighters and prefer tough challenge that is why we chose the most difficult path during rescue work at various fronts — we would have preferred if there would have been a male candidate from your family.”

“But since men in the family are on the run — we will not allow — ‘Apa jee’ get a walkover, we respect her but political opposition cannot be ignored,” he added.

He also criticised the successive rulers of the country for not promoting the ideology of Pakistan.

“This country is a blessing from Almighty but it was obtained without efforts,” Prof Rauf said and narrated the sacrifices rendered by those who migrated from India to Pakistan after partition of the sub-continent.

“Now we see that people are hoisting Pakistani flags but playing Indian songs — there is need to impart the knowledge related to ideology of Pakistan in the light of sayings of Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal,” he said.

Pir Zaheer Hashmi, chairman of Jamiat Ulema-i-Mashaikh Pakistan, and Pir Azmatullah also spoke.

Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2017