Pakistan refuses to allow Islamist party to enter elections

FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 file photo, Sheikh Yaqub, center, candidate of the newly-formed Milli Muslim League party, waves to his suppor

FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 file photo, Sheikh Yaqub, center, candidate of the newly-formed Milli Muslim League party, waves to his suppor

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's elections oversight body has rejected a request from an Islamist party backed by a radical cleric with alleged terror links to participate in upcoming elections.

Wednesday's decision by the Election Commission blocks the Milli Muslim League party from taking part in the July 25 vote when citizens will elect members to the National Assembly and four provincial legislatures.

Under Pakistani law, all parties must get clearance from the commission to participate in elections.

The Milli Muslim League has the backing of Hafiz Saeed, who carries a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head for alleged involvement in 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, India in which 166 people were killed.