The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday reacted strongly to reports that the Islamabad High Court had asked the Pakistani Election Commission to hear Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saaed’s political party’s application for registration, ANI reported.

Earlier on Friday, PTI had reported that the Islamabad High Court had set aside the Election Commission’s decision to reject the registration application of the Milli Muslim League as a political party. The Pakistani poll monitor had turned down the plea because of the party’s alleged links with banned militant outfits.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the High Court’s decision was Pakistan’s attempt to bring Saeed, who India alleges was the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, to the mainstream. He said that even though Pakistan is mandated under United Nations law to act against Saeed, registering his political party is the country’s way of shielding him despite his terror activities.

“The true face of Hafiz Saeed and Pakistan is for all to see,” Kumar said. “Not only India, but the entire international community feels that the action needed to be taken against Hafiz Saeed is not being taken.”

On Thursday, the Lahore High Court had asked the governments of Pakistan and its Punjab province to not arrest Saaed or put him under house arrest until further orders. The Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief had moved the court in January, claiming that the government wanted to arrest him because of pressure from India and the United States.