India has said it will not rest until those responsible for the 1993 Mumbai blasts are brought to justice. The statement on Saturday came after a remark by Pakistani diplomat Shahryar Khan that underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, who is one of the main accused, once lived in Pakistan.
“The 1993 blast dossier has never been closed by us. Now that we have received more information, we will not rest till those responsible for the attack against our citizens are brought to justice wherever they are. We will continue to pursue this,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, reacting to Mr. Khan’s statement made to the media in London.
“Dawood was in Pakistan but I believe he was chased out of Pakistan. If he is in Pakistan, he should be hounded and arrested. We cannot allow such gangsters to operate from the country,” Mr. Khan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s special envoy for Track-II dialogue with India, said.
Mr. Khan, however, backtracked later and said the Foreign Ministry had no idea of Dawood’s whereabouts and the Ministry of Interior would probably have known about him. “(I) do not know where Dawood Ibrahim lives. I am only reflecting what the press has been saying, the Pakistani press have been saying about the gentleman,” Mr. Khan told the media.
However, the Union Home Ministry and intelligence officials are not convinced that Dawood is not in Pakistan. They say he might have been visiting the UAE occasionally on a fake Pakistani passport. Notably, in 2006 Interpol issued a ‘special notice,’ saying Dawood had 11 passports and 16 aliases. It also mentioned his “possible” hideouts including two in Karachi — NU 37, 30th Street, Defence Housing Authority; and White House, near Saudi Mosque, Clifton Road.
The Indian government has been repeatedly claiming that Dawood is hiding in Pakistan and enjoying the patronage of the Inter-Services Intelligence.
Addressing an Interpol meeting in Rome in November last, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde mentioned that the presence of Dawood and his accomplices “in a neighbouring country is well known and Interpol Red Notices against them, who are Indian nationals, are pending since 1993.” Similarly, at the Home Secretary-level talks in mid-2011, India gave Pakistan a list of 50 “most wanted fugitives,” in which Dawood’s name figured prominently.