New Delhi, May 7: Pakistan has gone gung ho following a statement by the Union Home Ministry that Dawood Ibrahim's whereabouts are not known. Pakistan reacted immediately and claimed that its stand has been vindicated.
However, what Pakistan needs to understand is that the Home Ministry by no means indicated that Dawood was not in Pakistan. All it meant to state was that Dawood's whereabouts in Pakistan are unknown.
The deal with Dawood post 1993:
The 1993 serial blasts at Mumbai was a turning point in the history of India. It saw the emergence of a don who lived the lavish life content with drug and gold smuggling turning into a notorious terrorist.
This time around there was no way out for Dawood Ibrahim and he had to leave for Pakistan, the country which sponsored the blasts in the first place.
For starters, Dawood needed a safe passage out of India. Going by the old intelligence files, it becomes amply clear that he paid off a sum of Rs 14 crore each to prominent politicians before he was given a safe passage.
Several leaders in Maharashtra felt that it is better the man is out of the country for good.
Having him around and if the police managed to question him would have led to a very embarrassing series of events which would have exposed the nexus between the leaders, police and the don.
Dawood needed protection:
There are well documented files with the home ministry provided by several intelligence bureau officials which state clearly about the links between the ISI and Dawood Ibrahim.
His links with the ISI date back even before he left for Pakistan.
His drug smuggling route which started at Afghanistan, passed through Pakistan was very much at the mercy of the ISI.
Prior to 1993, he would pay the ISI 10 per cent of his earnings through drug trade.
However, post 1993 the ISI was aware of the desperation of Dawood and he very badly needed shelter and protection in Pakistan.
The deal that Dawood struck with the ISI in exchange for protection was that he would cough up 40 per cent of earnings. It appeared to be a fair deal for Dawood as the Indian agencies were breathing down his neck.
He was given a facility in Karachi with protection and he continued to lead the lavish life which he always led.
This facility in Karachi which has been in place since 1994 had become the talk of the town in Pakistan and many wondered what the entire fuss about this locality was until the local Paksitani too realized that it housed Dawood.
While Dawood continued to live in Karachi and further his business by 1998, half the world knew where he lived.
This is when the ISI felt the need for yet another facility which would house the don. A second home with all facilities and security was made for him in Lahore.
Dawood shifted and upgraded:
The ISI plays it smart each time the heat on Dawood is upped. He is constantly moved between facilities just to keep international agencies and the Indian intelligence out of his reach.
In the past few months, Dawood has been moved around a lot and today it is suspected that he has been moved to an entirely new facility.
It is just a matter of time before the Intelligence Agencies from India track down this locality.
Even as Pakistan claims that its stand has been vindicated and there is no formal extradition request made, it would be interesting to note a few things here.
First and foremost an extradition request to Pakistan is a waste of time. When a country denies that a person is present on its soil, there is no point in seeking an extradition request.
The other aspect is that India is well aware that the kind of status that Dawood Ibrahim enjoys in Pakistan. He was upgraded from a smuggler to a strategic asset.
This meant that Dawood not only sent out the drugs from Pakistan and coughed up a part of the income for the ISI's terrorist activities, but also helped in the movement of arms and ammunition through his well established routes.
Dawood was homesick:
In the past couple of days much has been spoken about his offers to surrender. One must bear in mind that Dawood was not making a genuine offer to surrender.
He was missing his home town of Mumbai and was just taking a chance at getting the best deal.
While making these informal surrender offers, he was just taking his chances at striking a deal which would be beneficial only to him.
This by no means was agreeable to anyone and had they taken the offer, he would have been offered a deal which would be almost close to immunity.
How the Dawood case stands as of now?
A fresh operation by the Intelligence Bureau and India's external spy agencies has been launched. There is a need to track down his new facility in Pakistan an officer attached to the operation informed Oneindia.
Once the location and all other details are known, a request would be made to Pakistan to send him back to India. Once the proof is given let us see if Pakistan which is extremely upbeat today on this issue will send India's most wanted back.