India, which has for years been insisting that fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim is residing in Pakistan with the blessings of the establishment there, appears to have scored its own goal in the just-concluded budget session of Parliament by taking the position that it has no information about his whereabouts.
During the Home Secretary-level talks in mid-2011, India shared with Pakistan a list of “50 most wanted fugitives” hiding in the neighbouring country. It included Dawood, who according to Indian intelligence agencies, is living in Karachi.
In a written reply to a question in Parliament regarding extradition of Dawood, Minister of State for Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran said: “The accused [Dawood Ibrahim] is wanted in the Mumbai serial bomb blasts of 1993 and a Red Corner Notice [by Interpol]…is in existence. The United Nations Security Council has also issued a Special Notice…against him.”
However, the Minister added that “the subject [Dawood Ibrahim] has not been located so far,” while on the question of his deportation from Pakistan, he said the “extradition process would be initiated once the subject is located.”
Among others who figure in the list India shared in 2011 are 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and terrorist Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi.
At an Interpol meeting in Rome in November last, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde mentioned the 1993 Bombay blasts case and lamented that Pakistan had failed to hand over the blast conspirators despite India sharing clinching evidence with its neighbour.
“Their [Dawood and company] presence in a neighbouring country is well-known and Interpol Red Notices against them, who are Indian nationals, are pending since 1993,” he said.
In 2006, Interpol issued a ‘special notice’ against Dawood, thus placing him in the same category as top al-Qaeda operatives. The notice, circulated to United Nations member-nations, had details of Dawood’s 11 passports and 16 aliases. Interestingly, it also mentioned his various addresses, including two in Karachi. It hinted at Dawood’s “possible” hideouts at NU 37, 30th Street, Defence Housing Authority, and White House, near Saudi Mosque, Clifton Road.