Dawood in Pak: Jaishankar takes a dig at neighbour

Jaishankar takes a dig at Pakistan for admitting Dawood Ibrahim's presence

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Credit: PTI

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday tacitly took a dig at Pakistan, which recently acknowledged the presence of Dawood Ibrahim in its territory, India's most wanted terrorist.

He said that the states, which turned terror into “a primary export”, had attempted, “by dint of bland denials”, to paint themselves as the victims of the menace they sent out around the world. “But, as we have seen last week, sustained pressure through international mechanisms to prevent the movement of funds for terror groups and their front agencies can work,” said the External Affairs Minister.

He was delivering a lecture at an event held by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in honour of its founder Darbari S Seth.

“It (international pressure) has eventually compelled a state complicit in aiding, abetting, training and directing terror groups and associated criminal syndicates to grudgingly acknowledge the presence of wanted terrorists and organized crime leaders on its territory,” he added, tacitly hitting out at Pakistan.

New Delhi has since long been believing that India’s most wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim, who had masterminded the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai, has been living in Pakistan. Islamabad, however, consistently denied his presence in Pakistan.

The Pakistan Government, however, on Sunday published a list of 88 terrorists, including Dawood Ibrahim, Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Masood Azhar of the Jaish-e-Mohammed. The individuals listed in the Statutory Regulatory Order issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Pakistan Government are all designated as terrorists by the United Nations Security Council, which also imposed sanctions on him.

The Pakistan Government published the list apparently as part of a move to implement the measures prescribed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – an intergovernmental organization coordinating global efforts to fight money laundering and terror financing. It notified that listed individuals would have no direct access to funds and would not be able to procure arms or enter or transit through Pakistan.

The presence of Dawood Ibrahim in the list prompted New Delhi to take it as an admission by the Pakistan Government of the fact that the elusive terrorist had been living in its territory. Islamabad, however, later sought to play it down.

India has been working with the United States, France, United Kingdom and other nations to step up pressure on the Pakistan Government through the FATF to squeeze flow of funds to the terrorists and terror organizations operating in the neighbouring country.

“The struggle against terror and those who aid and abet it is a work in progress. It remains for the international system to create the necessary mechanisms to shut down the structures that support and enable terrorism, whether in South Asia or across the globe,” the External Affairs Minister said on Friday.