Dawood not in Pakistan, says its envoy Abdul Basit

RSTV Bureau
Bengaluru: Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit with his wife Summiya in Bengaluru on October 28, 2015.

Bengaluru: Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit with his wife Summiya in Bengaluru on October 28, 2015.

Pakistan has once again claimed that underworld don and mastermind of 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, Dawood Ibrahim is not in Pakistan. Abdul Basit, Pakistan High Commissioner to India on Wednesday laid claims that his country is not hiding the fugitive don. On the contrary, the Government of India has long maintained that underworld don is residing in Pakistan. In fact, there were recent press reports corroborating India’s stand on Dawood living in Pakistan’s Karachi.

“He is not in Pakistan. Even your government is not sure about his whereabouts,” Abdul Basit said in Bengaluru adding, “Do share information on Dawood if you have any.”

The Pakistan envoy was in the city to attend an event organised by think tank Bangalore International Centre and Takshashila Institution.

Dawood Ibrahim, originally a resident of Dongri in Mumbai, had been on the run and is named as one of the prime accused in 1993 Mumbai serial blast which killed 257 people. Indian agencies have further claimed underworld don’s hand in several other terror attacks on Indian soil.

Speaking at an event, Abdul Basit put the onus of initiative on India, saying India is a big country and it has more responsibilities on its shoulders to put an end to violence. He also claimed that Pakistan is ready to engage with India with sincerity and seriousness of purpose.

“We genuinely want violence to come to an end and we are ready to engage with India with sincerity and seriousness of purpose, but India as a big country has more responsibilities on its shoulders,” Mr. Basit said at an event which was moderated by historian Ramchandra Guha.

Claiming that Jammu and Kashmir remains the core dispute between India and Pakistan, he said that both the countries should find out ways to end the years of acrimony.

“We have been talking for years and now we must see how to convert (years of acrimony) into a virtual circle. It can happen when civil society also contributes towards this process because the vast majority on either side wants only peace,” he added.

Speaking on the international affairs, the Pakistan High Commissioner laid emphasis that his country also wants an end to violence with Afghanistan because Kabul is the most important capital for Pakistan.

“Pakistan also genuinely wants violence to come to an end on the other side…. Kabul is the most important capital for us,” he added.

Mr. Basit also opined about improving Indo-Pak trade ties and revamping SAARC, which will hold its 19th summit next year in Pakistan.

(With inputs from the PTI)