BJP on Saturday termed as “irrefutable evidence” a new report, which citing intelligence evidence said Dawood Ibrahim was in Pakistan, and asked it to hand him over to India while Congress played down the report, saying successive governments have shared such evidence with Pakistan and the report does not change facts on the ground.
“Pakistan has always denied that Dawood Ibrahim was staying there. We have now placed the evidence before the world. Pakistan must understand it and immediately hand him over to India,” Union Minister and senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters.
BJP secretary Siddharth Nath Singh said the report was an “irrefutable evidence” of the most wanted criminal’s presence in Pakistan and it can not longer remain in denial.
However, Congress and even BJP ally Shiv Sena did not lend much value to the report which carried a recent photograph of Dawood besides other details, saying it did not say anything new.
“We share evidence all the time. What difference does it make? I think time has come for India to make up its mind,” Congress leader and former External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said, asking the Centre to call off NSA-level talks with Pakistan.
Another Congress leader and former Union Minister Manish Tewari said every government since the Mumbai blast accused fled to Pakistan has given dossier after dossier to the neighbouring country on his presence there.
“The India intelligence files are littered with Dawood Ibrahim’s picture. This picture does not change facts on ground,” he said, daring the Narendra Modi government to launch an operation to bring him to book as the USA did to Osama Bin Laden.
Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena also spoke on similar lines, saying a new photograph of Dawood means “nothing” and Pakistan has refuted earlier evidence of his presence. He wondered why the NDA government was repeating the past “mistakes” of talking with Pakistan and said it should go all out to punish Dawood.