Pakistan says India's admission it 'can't locate' Dawood Ibrahim vindicates claims he is NOT on its soil

Abdul Basit (right) says the Indian government's admission vindicates Pakistan’s stand that Dawood is not hiding in the country

Abdul Basit (right) says the Indian government's admission vindicates Pakistan’s stand that Dawood is not hiding in the country

Pakistan has welcomed the Indian government’s claims that Dawood Ibrahim has not been located so far, saying this is a vindication of Pakistan’s stand that the underworld don is not on Pakistani soil. 

Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary, while replying to a question in Parliament on Tuesday, said: “The subject (Dawood) has not been located so far. His extradition process would be inititated once he is located." 

First talk 

Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit, in his first interview on Indian television since becoming the high commissioner, told Headlines Today in the programme To The Point that Pakistan’s claim of Dawood not being there has been vindicated. 

Basit said Chaudhary’s statement also raised critical and disturbing questions about the veracity of India’s dossiers, which he described as ‘self-serving’. 

“To the best of my knowledge, India has never requested in writing, the extradition of Dawood Ibrahim,” Basit said. 

The government was left red-faced after admitting to having no information on Dawood’s whereabouts as it had, for long, taken a stand that the underworld don was in Pakistan. India, in the past, has also handed over several dossiers to Pakistan with details of his whereabouts and addresses.  

Initially, senior officials in the home ministry seemed unperturbed and said a similar reply was given to a question on Dawood’s extradition on May 7, 2013. 

Hours later, Home Secretary L.C. Goyal sought details of the past dossiers. 

The dossier, which was sent to Pakistan in 2012 had specific addresses and details of three Pakistani passports held by the underworld don. The addresses mentioned were Moin Palace, 2nd Floor, Opposite Abdullah Shah Ghazi Durgah, Clifton, Karachi, Pakistan; 6/A, Khyaban Tanzeem, Phase V, Defence Housing Area, Karachi, Pakistan and Margalla Road, P-6/2, Street No. 22, House No. 29, Islamabad. 

The Pakistan High Commissioner also said there had been no improvement in the prospects of dialogue between India and Pakistan since August. 

In August 2014, India had called off foreign secretary-level talks after the Pakistani diplomat had a dialogue with Kashmiri separatists. 

Any hopes that Foreign Secretary Jaishankar’s SAARC yatra visit to Islamabad might rekindle the stalled dialogue process have turned out to be stillborn. Pakistan was, Basit said, disappointed but not frustrated. 

“Pakistan would continue to try to resume the dialogue process,” he said, while admitting there was no prospect of immediate success. 

Speaking about Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s interview last week to the Saudi Gazette, where he had said India had unilaterally called off the bilateral dialogue process on a frivolous pretext, the High Commissioner said that even nine months after the talks were called off, Pakistan continues to view the excuse as frivolous. 

Basit clearly suggested that Pakistan’s understanding of India’s attitude had not improved over the last nine months. 

The High Commissioner said Sharif had invested a lot of effort and taken a big step by attending Modi’s swearing-in.