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U.S. Adds Pakistan's Milli Muslim League To Terror List

Hafiz Saeed founded the Milli Muslim League last year. (file photo)
Hafiz Saeed founded the Milli Muslim League last year. (file photo)

The United States has placed Pakistan's Milli Muslim League (MML) political party on its list of foreign terrorist organizations for its alleged links to a militant group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The State Department said in a statement on April 2 that it had designated Milli Muslim League (MML) as a foreign terrorist group because it was operating as fronts for Lashkar-e Taiba (LeT) which is also on the U.S. terrorist list.

Another group allegedly linked to LeT and operating in Indian-administered Kashmir, Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir, was also added to the U.S. terrorist list.

"These designations seek to deny LeT the resources it needs to plan and carry out further terrorist attacks," the State Department said, adding that the groups' property subject to U.S. jurisdiction had been blocked and U.S. persons were prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.

The United States and India blame Lashkar-e Taiba for an assault on the Indian financial capital in 2008 that left 166 people dead. The group’s founder, Hafiz Saeed, has denied involvement.

The United States has offered a $10 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Saeed, who formed the MML party last year.

Pakistan's election commission has not allowed the party to register, but its members have been participating in parliamentary elections as independent candidates.

A spokesman for MML expressed defiance toward the latest designations.

"Our party is not registered [by Pakistani authorities]... it won’t make any difference," Yahya Mujahid told the dpa news agency.

The development comes as relations between Islamabad and Washington deteriorated in recent months amid U.S. allegations that Pakistan is harboring Islamist militants who are launching attacks in neighboring Afghanistan, something which Pakistan denies.

With reporting by dpa