Hand over Dawood Ibrahim to India, Advani told Musharraf in 2001

Narrating the sequence of events, Advani said Musharraf had responded positively to his suggestion of having an extradition treaty between India and Pakistan.

Published: 06th February 2023 12:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th February 2023 12:49 AM   |  A+A-

PervezMusharraf

Former Pakistan President Late Gen Pervez Musharraf. (File Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: India's quest to bring fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim to justice has remained unfulfilled so far but in 2001, the then Union Home Minister L K Advani had put the uncomfortable question of handing over the global terrorist to visiting Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

"Musharraf's face suddenly turned red and unfriendly. Hardly able to conceal his discomfort, he said something that I regarded as quite offensive," Advani had recalled in a blogpost in 2011.

Advani had called on Musharraf, who was in India for the Agra Summit with the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was staying at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The former home minister had also pointed out that Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's hideout in the garrison town of Abbottabad was constructed when Musharraf was "in total command of the situation" in Pakistan.

Caught off-guard, Musharraf had emphatically denied that Dawood was in his country, a claim that a Pakistani official later said was a "white lie".

"Musharraf, his unease palpable, replied assertively: 'Mr. Advani, let me tell you emphatically that Dawood Ibrahim is not in Pakistan'," the BJP veteran had written in his blog.

But "later, one of the Pakistani officials who was present during the meeting said to me, 'What our president said about Dawood Ibrahim on that day was a white lie'," wrote Advani.

WEB SCRAWL | General Musharraf: A soldier for all terrains -- from deceit to defiance

The BJP leader likened the "white lie" about Dawood to what Pakistanis had been feeding to Americans all these years about Osama bin Laden.

Narrating the sequence of events, Advani said Musharraf had responded positively to his suggestion of having an extradition treaty between India and Pakistan.

Advani then asked him to make a "great contribution to the peace process if you handed over to India Dawood Ibrahim, who is the prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case and who lives in Karachi".

The US had designated Dawood Ibrahim as a "specially designated global terrorist" last year.

The question about handing over Dawood Ibrahim was put to Mohsin Butt, the chief of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency, who was in India for a meeting of the Interpol in October last year.

Butt had stayed mum and walked away even as media persons fired a volley of questions at the top Pakistani officer.

Based in Karachi and wanted for multiple terror activities in India, including the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, Ibrahim already has a bounty of USD 25 million on his head announced by the United Nations Security Council in 2003.

He is among India's most wanted men, along with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar, Hizbul Mujahideen founder Syed Salahuddin and his close aide Abdul Rauf Asghar.

Musharraf died in Dubai on Sunday at the age of 79 after battling an incurable disease.

He lived in self-imposed exile in the UAE to avoid criminal charges against him in Pakistan.



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