New Delhi/Lucknow (IANS): India has credible information that underworld don Dawood Ibrahim is in Pakistan and we will not rest till he is brought back, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday. But Pakistan denied the fugitive is present there.
Making a statement in the Lok Sabha, Rajnath Singh said Pakistan was bound to trace Dawood but had failed to do so despite overwhelming evidence given to it.
Rajnath Singh made the statement following a controversy over his junior minister Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary’s reply in the house last week that location of Dawood was unknown and extradition proceedings against him would start once he was traced.
The Pakistan high commissioner, however, denied the fugitive being present in the country.
“I just want to say that he (Dawood) is not in Pakistan. What else can I say to that,” Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said in Lucknow, answering questions from mediapersons.
Basit’s response came after Rajnath Singh said that Pakistan was under international obligation to find Dawood as Interpol has already issued a Red Corner notice against him.
Chaudhary’s reply had created a political furore with the Congress accusing the Narendra Modi-led government of weakening India’s fight against terrorism.
Dawood is wanted for 1993 Mumbai serial blasts and a red corner notice has been issued against him, the home minister said, adding that the UN Security Council has also issued a special notice against him.
Rajnath Singh said India had credible information about his presence in Pakistan.
“The details of Dawood Ibrahim, including those of his Pakistani passports and his reported addresses in Pakistan, have been provided to Pakistan from time to time with a request to locate and hand him over to India as India is the initiator of the red corner notice issued against him by the Interpol,” the home minister added.
He said Pakistan was under an obligation to locate Dawood following the Interpol notice, as it would enable India to start extradition/deportation or any other legal process against him.
“Whether we have to pursue Pakistan or exert pressure on it, we will not rest till Dawood is brought back,” Rajnath Singh asserted in parliament.
Despite “overwhelming documentary and other evidence handed over to Pakistan”, he said, the neighbouring country had failed to locate Dawood and initiate legal process.
“India continues to pressurise Pakistan at all levels to fulfil its international obligations and locate Dawood Ibrahim and other terrorists and hand them over to India,” Rajnath Singh added.