Dawood is hiding in Pakistan: India (Lead)

May 12th, 2011 - 11:17 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) Pakistan’s persistent denials - including one this week - notwithstanding, India Thursday maintained that mobster Dawood Ibrahim, one of the most wanted fugitives, lives in that country and has a house in Karachi.

“Dawood Ibrahim has a home in Karachi. Whether all the time he is in Karachi, I cannot say, but we have seen that most part of the year he is in Karachi or at another place in Pakistan,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters here.

The claim about Dawood living in Pakistan comes after Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Tuesday denied the underworld don was in his country and said that just “by marrying a lady in Pakistan does not give a certificate” that he is there.

Malik said in an interview with CNN-IBN: “If we get hold of him, naturally we will look into it. But as far as our information is concerned, he is not here (in Pakistan).”

Dawood is wanted for various crimes in India, including the 1993 serial bombings in Mumbai.

His name figured in the list of 50 most wanted fugitives made public by New Delhi Wednesday.

The home minister’s remarks come after US Navy Seals May 2 gunned down Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden who was living incognito in a bungalow in Abbottabad, leading to allegations that Pakistan is harbouring some of the world’s most dreaded terror operators.

He said India would maintain pressure on Pakistan on fast track conviction of the masterminds of the Mumbai attack in which 166 people, including foreigners, were killed by 10 Pakistani terrorists Nov 26-29, 2008.

He said India would keep talking to Pakistan even though New Delhi firmly believes that the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack living in that country needed to be brought to justice.

“The government is pressing Pakistan as well as mobilising international opinion to press Pakistan to bring the real perpetrators of 26/11 attacks to justice,” he added.

“Pakistan is our neighbour. There are matters on which we are engaging Pakistan. I don’t think there is dichotomy or contradiction. This is the policy spelt out by Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) and I think, this is the right policy,” Chidambaram told reporters.

Asked whether India would continue to talk to Pakistan despite the issue of cross-border terrorism sponsored by that country, the home minister said: “There are issues between the two countries and we need to keep Pakistan engaged.”

At the same time, he said, India would “stress on its priorities, which are bringing to justice the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks”.

Chidambaram also denied that Rehman Malik had in a talk with him asked him to ensure that the US operation in which Osama was killed is highlighted positively in India.

“There was no telephonic conversation. He (Malik) must have been misunderstood,” Chidambaram said, in response to a question about the Pakistani minister’s interview to an Indian TV channel.

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