ISLAMABAD - The Milli Muslim League (MML) — a new party backed by banned outfit Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) — on Tuesday moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) challenging the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s decision of not enlisting it as a “political party”.

The MML through its president Saifullah Khalid approached the IHC and cited the ECP and the secretary interior as respondents.

The petitioner has contended that the ECP issued an order on October 11 whereby he has been denied to enlist MML as a political party. He said that the said order of ECP was mala fide, without application of independence mind, beyond jurisdiction, non-speaking and evidently inchoate, arbitrary, unreasonable, unfounded and illegal, violative of the Constitution, the Political Parties Order, 2002 and the Political Parties Rules, 2002.

He said that it has long been debated that none of the political parties out of almost 352 enlisted by the ECP fulfils the requirements of a political party in the real sense and represent the people of Pakistan in all the federating units.

“Such political parties instead of promoting harmony, patriotism, ideology of Pakistan, protecting the rights of the people of Pakistan promised at the time of creation of the country and enshrined in the Constitution, are damaging the identity, ideology of Pakistan, interest of the people of Pakistan and protecting their personal interests and involved in corruption, who otherwise, had a chance to govern the country,” reads the petition.

It said that the MML was formed in accordance with Article 17 (2) of the Constitution read with Article 3 of PPO, 2002.

The petitioner said that on October 11, the ECP without hearing the petitioner’s counsel declined to enlist the MML as a political party on the plea that the Ministry of Interior has directed to refrain from registering the party.  He adopted that the ECP order was liable to be set aside and declared as illegal.

“That Article 17 (2) of the Constitution confers a fundamental right to every citizen, not being in the service of Pakistan, to form or to be a member of a political party, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by the law in the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of Pakistan,” he said.

The petitioner has prayed to the court to set aside the order and the ECP may be directed to scrutinize the documents of the petitioner afresh strictly in accordance with the law and enlist the party in its record.

He has further requested the court to direct the secretary interior not to interfere in the affairs of the ECP in enlisting of the MML.