India wants Dawood, 19 others for better ties
NEW DELHI: Indian Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani on Saturday said India and Pakistan could open a new chapter in bilateral ties if Islamabad handed over 20 criminals New Delhi says are sheltered there.
“A new chapter can be opened in India-Pakistan relations if Islamabad hands over Dawood Ibrahim and the other 19 terrorists whose list has been given to Pakistan last year,” the Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted Mr Advani as saying at a function in New Delhi.
The US Treasury Department on Thursday branded Mr Ibrahim, India’s most wanted criminal, a “specially designated global terrorist”, listed his address as Karachi and said he was holding a Pakistani passport. However, the Foreign Office (FO) denied on Saturday that Mr Ibrahim or any Indian suspects were sheltering in Pakistan. “There are no Indian suspects on our soil. We have not given shelter to any Indian national, one or 19 or 20,” FO spokesman Masood Khan told AFP.
“The government of Pakistan has, on several occasions in the past, categorically denied the presence of the Indian national Dawood Ibrahim on Pakistani soil. Despite these clarifications, fresh inquiries were conducted which have have revealed that a Pakistani passport number (G 869537) given by the US to be allegedly in possession of Dawood Ibrahim, in fact belongs to one Imtiaz Hussain,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Vajpayee reiterated a rejection of the demand for right to self-determination in Kashmir. He said parts of Kashmir were occupied by Islamabad and Delhi would seek vacation of those areas. —Agencies