NEW DELHI: Turning down its invite for talks in the face of continuing cross-border terrorism, New Delhi on Friday asked Islamabad to extradite designated global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, whose presence in Pakistan has been confirmed after the United Nations approved six of his addresses provided by India.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that in the latest update of the list on Dawood, who is wanted in India for orchestrating the 1993 serial bomb blasts, the UN has validated six of the nine addresses in Pakistan frequented by him.
“India continues to maintain that it is incumbent upon Pakistan to extradite this global terrorist to whom they have provided sanctuary for a very long period of time to face justice for his many crimes. We hope Pakistan will heed international opinion on this issue,” Swarup said. The periodical update of the list by the 1267 committee of the UN means Dawood continues to remain on the designated list as a global terrorist; the 1267 monitoring committee continues to retain his Pakistani passport as a valid document; the UN has also confirmed that he resides in and has properties in Pakistan; and that the UN continues to keep a regular watch on him.
The UN has also placed details such as his wife’s name, father’s name and several of his aliases on its database. The UN’s validation has bolstered India’s stance against Pakistan on the issue of terrorism. Swarup also confirmed that Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar has responded to the second letter of his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary. India on Friday asked Pakistan not to remain in “denial” on cross-border terrorism.
“Providing support, safe havens and sanctuary to terrorists and making the distinction between good and bad terrorists have posed enormous risk to peace and stability in our region. It is important for Pakistan to acknowledge the reality and not remain in denial on the impact of cross-border terrorism on bilateral relationship. The sooner Pakistan recognises this central and important fact, the sooner India-Pakistan relationship can progress,” Swarup said in response to a question on whether the India-Pakistan rivalry is harming the prospects of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) grouping.
Jaishankar, in his response, emphasised the “earliest possible vacation of Islamabad’s illegal occupation” of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. In his letter dated August 24, the foreign secretary conveyed that the government seeks a result-oriented dialogue on the issue. “As Pakistan is aware, the intended result at issue is the early vacation by Pakistan of its illegal occupation,” Swarup said, elaborating on the contents of the letter.
In the sharp-worded response, Jaishankar said as far as terrorism is concerned, “not just India, but the larger region is acutely aware that Pakistan is actually a prime perpetrator”. The recent arrest of Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist Bahadur Ali also found mention in the letter. “The foreign secretary made it explicit that the agenda before India and Pakistan is clearly to put an end to cross-border terrorism and incitement to violence from Pakistan,” Swarup said.