From his safe house in KARACHI the DON continues to expand his business empire in INDIA while the authorities shows their unwillingness to break down the DON’s network.
Why India can’t get him?
India refuses to apply enough political pressure on Pakistan to deport the man who has terrorized the country. It doesn’t even call him a TERRORIST.
DAWOOD IBRAHIM figures at a lowly number 8 on the home ministry’s now withdrawn dossier of the 50 most wanted fugitives from the law in INDIA. Way below Lashkar-e-Toiba head HAFIZ MOHAMMED SAEED and even Major SAMEER ALI of the ISI. He is wanted for “conspiracy for the bomb explosions in Mumbai in 1993 with intention to cause death”. Nearly 18 years after the serial bombing in Mumbai that killed over 250 people, memories may be fading. The ISI trained DAWOOD’s gang members to wield arms and explosives. It also shipped almost 3 tons of RDX, Ak-47, and grenades. Yet the bombings are still treated as a criminal case than an ISI- backed terrorist plot like the 261/11 attacks. This has further weakened Indias case against DAWOOD. “ DAWOOD does not get the attention as that HAFIZ MOHAMMED SAEED or MAULANA MASOOD AZHAR gets”, says an Indian intelligence official. That could be because the DAWOOD gang is still seen as an underworld outfit and nor a terrorist group like the Lashkar-e-Toiba or the Jaish-e-Mohammed.
India does not have an extradition treaty with Pakistan. The other more serious hurdle: Pakistan simply denies the gangster terrorist is in the country. Ahead of the 2002 Agra summit, President PERVEZ MUSHARRAF told the then home minister L.K.ADWANI “Mr. ADWANI, let me clear you one thing emphatically that DAWOOD IBRAHIM is not in Pakistan”. It is a story Pakistan has steadfastly clung to even as India has continued to the bomb the Pakistan side with the most wanted lists every time the two sides meet.
India has been unable to apply sufficient political pressure on Pakistan to deport DAWOOD. The closest it came to doing this was between 2003 and 2004 when ADWANI took up DAWOOD’s case with the US. The US department of treasury designated him a ‘SPECIALLY-DESIGNATED GLOBAL TERRORIST’ under an executive order that could freeze assets belonging to him with the US and prohibits transactions with the US nationals. For a while, it appeared as if Pakistan would finally concede to DAWOOD’s presence, but when political pressure from India slipped, it went back to the denial mode. Since then, DAWOOD has used his underworld network to facilitate terror operations in India and expand his presence in the fake Indian currency business and hawala transactions for terrorist outfits.
Experts say there is a case for DAWOOD to be put in a special category of individuals threatening national security. “The US went after OSAMA BIN LADEN not only because he master minded the 9/11 attacks but also because he was a clear present danger to them”, says former director intelligence bureau, AJIT DOVAL.
With all other options to get DAWOOD fading, legal experts say India need to get the US to apply pressure on Pakistan to deport him. “The US was the first to declare DAWOOD a global terrorist, India should now ask the US to pressure Pakistan into not seltering him”, says UJJWAL NIKAM, special public prosecutor in 1993 Mumbai blast case.
In 2006, 100 of the 129 accused in the Mumbai bombings were found guilty and convicted by the special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court. It is the longest running trial in India’s history. Indian investigators admit that there has been no investigation that conclusively links DAWOOD to the 1993 balsts. The sole thread that connects DAWOOD to the blasts is a confession made before the police by one of his lieutenants who saw him, Tiger Memon and three unknown Pakistani nationals hatch the blast conspiracy. ”Even if we do bring DAWOOD back, can we convict him in the 1993 blasts case? All we have is a single confession made before the police which in inadmissible in court”, says former CBI director JOGINDER SINGH.