Hours after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in Parliament that India has credible information about Dawood Ibrahim’s presence in Pakistan, the country’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit yet again claimed that the underworld don is not in his country.
“Iske baare mein itna he keh sakta hun ke wo sahab Pakistan me nahi hain, isse zyada main kya kahun (I can only say that he is not in Pakistan),” Basit said at a press conference in Lucknow.
Reacting to BJP MP R K Singh’s comment in Lok Sabha against the India-Pakistan cricket series scheduled in the UAE later this year, Basit said: “Some things are intangibles, you can’t necessarily see their benefit. When sporting ties slowly improve, the benefits also begin to show.”
Answering a question on Mumbai terror attacks, he said that “nobody can justify a terror attack”. “We arrested seven persons for Mumbai attacks and the trial is on. You may disagree, but we are pursuing it with all seriousness. But you have to respect our law and legal procedures. Even if he (Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi) is out on bail, it doesn’t mean that he has been acquitted. We can’t reach premature conclusions,” he added.
Basit also said the Kashmir problem was “not an issue of terrorism”. “This has been going on since 1947 and if you say it is due to terrorism, I would not agree with you. We should view an issue in a proper context,” he said.
Earlier, Basit was chief guest at a FICCI conference and spoke on issues concerning both nations. “Sometimes it pains me that I do not find appreciation of our (efforts to deal with) problems stemming from terrorism in Pakistan… We have lost our mothers, sisters and children… Terrorism is a big issue for both nations. No nation has suffered as many casualties as Pakistan, after Afghanistan, in the last 35 years. As many as 50,000 people have been killed, including 5,000 security personnel,” he said, adding as per a World Bank report Pakistan has incurred over a hundred billion dollars of losses in 10 years.