Pakistan pact: Parties unite to criticise shelter to Dawood
Cutting across party lines, politicians on Saturday expressed their dismay and a degree of resentment over former Pakistan foreign secretary Shahryar Khan’s statement admitting mafia don Dawood Ibrahim’s presence in Pakistan.
They were unanimous in their view that Pakistan has become a haven for terrorists, but at the same time said that this could just be another tactic to divert India’s attention from the recent LoC killings.
Congress leader Meem Afzal said that Pakistan cannot be trusted, because earlier they were denying the presence of Dawood in their country, and added that they are trying to divert the attention from the LoC issue.
'Any statement from the Pakistani authorities cannot be trusted. They hid al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in their country for ten years and the US had no clue about it. They are doing this again for Dawood. It's not surprising,' said BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
Party president Rajnath Singh acknowledged that it's good that Pakistan has accepted that Dawood has been staying in its territory, but it is not enough. 'They should do more to get justice for the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. If they are not ready to accept our demands then we should scale down our diplomatic ties with Pakistan,' said Singh.
Meanwhile, in a change of stance, Islamabad’s point man for Track-II dialogue with India, Shahryar Khan, made a U-turn on his remarks acknowledging the presence in Pakistan of one of India’s most wanted terrorists Dawood Ibrahim.
Hours after saying that Ibrahim had been ‘chased out’ of Pakistan and he may be in the UAE, Khan said he had no idea whether the gangster was in the country.
‘The ministry of interior would have probably known but the foreign ministry does not. I have no idea whether he is in Pakistan, if he ever has been (there),’ he said.
On Friday, Khan had said that Ibrahim had once lived in Pakistan. This was the first time that a Pakistani official had acknowledged the mob boss’ presence in the country.