New Delhi, Aug 8: Pakistan, in its first official admission, on Friday accepted that the underworld don Dawood Ibrahim was in their country, but now he has been chased out.
The unexpected revelation came when Shahryar Khan, the Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's special envoy for improving relations with India, said, "Dawood (Ibrahim) 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."
While talking to reporters in London, at a pre-launch event organised by the Indian Journalists' Association for his latest book 'Cricket Cauldron: The Turbulent Politics of Sport in Pakistan', he said, "I think he is in the UAE. The Nawaz Sharif government is very much in favour of taking action against criminals who not only affect Pakistan but also any other countries, whether it is India or Afghanistan or wherever. We cannot allow criminals to flourish in the country. If they come to us, we will take action. That is why I think he (Dawood) has left Pakistan."
However, while talking to NDTV, Khan, the former diplomat took a U-turn on his earlier statement and said, "I have never, not in the past as foreign secretary, not now, have known where Mr Ibrahim lives. I was only reflecting what the Pakistani press has been saying. I have no knowledge nor is it my remit."
Some reports suggested that the India's most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim is out of Pakistan, only on a temporary basis. He has gone to UAE to perform Umrah ( a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia) and he is expected to return to Pakistan by early next week.
Sources from the Indian intelligence said that Dawood's house in Karachi continues to be guarded by Sindh police and he travels out of Pakistan regularly for business.
Pakistan has till now denied the presence of Dawood on its soil though Indian security agencies have repeatedly mentioned his name and details in dossiers handed over to Pakistani authorities.
According to reports, Dawood was based in Karachi, where he had fled after the 1993 Mumbai bombings. Besides the 1993 bombings, he is wanted in numerous terror and criminal cases in India. In 2003, the US government had designated him as a "Foreign Terrorist".
(With Agency inputs)