Govt clarifies on Dawood; vows to bring him back

SansadTV Bureau

Rajnath-_SinghlokUnder attack over statement in Parliament that he is not aware about Dawood Ibrahim’s whereabouts, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday asserted that the 1993 Mumbai blast mastermind is in Pakistan and the Centre will make every possible effort to bring him to justice.

“Whether we have to pursue Pakistan or pressurise it, we will not rest till Dawood Ibrahim is brought back,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in Lok Sabha. He also told that India has maintained pressure on Pakistan at all levels over the issue.

He alleged that Pakistan has “failed” to track him down despite being provided with “overwhelming evidence” about his presence there, based on “credible information”.

The BJP-led NDA government has come under attack from the Opposition inside and outside the Parliament after his reply to a question in Lok Sabha last week that he is not aware about the gangster’s location. But on Monday, the government sought to correct its stand.

In the statement, Singh said, “India has credible information about his presence in Pakistan. Despite the neighbouring country being handed over overwhelming documentary and other evidence, it has to locate him and initiate legal process.”

India has provided Pakistan the details of his Pakistani passports and reported addresses there from time to time, asking it to locate and hand him over to it.

Noting that a red-corner notice issued by Interpol was pending against Dawood since 1996 and a UN Security Council’s special notice against him is also pending since 2006, the Home Minister said Pakistan is bound by international obligations to locate and extradite him.

The Home Minister said, “India continues to pressurise Pakistan to fulfil its international obligations and locate Dawood Ibrahim and other terrorists and hand them over to India.”

A row had erupted following a written reply by Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary to a question in Lok Sabha, saying the government was not aware about Dawood’s whereabouts, which had triggered a sharp opposition attack on the NDA government last week.

The name of Dawood, who is wanted in connection with 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, figures in almost all the dossiers that have been handed over to Pakistan since the NDA rule in early 2000. Dawood, who has been listed as Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the United States for his alleged links with al Qaeda terror group, vanished from Mumbai between 1992-93.