While Azhar is responsible for the 2019 Pulwama attack, among other terrorist attacks, Dawood is the main accused for the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai and other attacks. Both are listed in the UN Security Council’s list of global terrorists.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a chargesheet against Azhar for the Pulwama attack.
In response to questions at the weekly briefing Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the chargesheet has been filed after investigation over a year and a half since the attack. It has been filed to address the act of terrorism and to bring perpetrators of such a heinous crime to justice, he said. “Our aim is not to simply issue statements or notifications,” he added.
“Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed the responsibility of Pulwama attack. The organisation and its leadership is in Pakistan. It is regrettable that Masood Azhar, the first accused in the chargesheet, continues to find shelter in Pakistan. Enough evidence has been shared with Pakistan but it continues to evade responsibility,” the MEA spokesperson said.
Pakistan has not yet taken any credible action against perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack in which 165 people, including 25 foreign nationals, were killed, he said.
On denial by the Pakistan foreign ministry of the presence of Dawood Ibrahim in the country, the MEA spokesperson said the assertion that the Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) does not mean that it admits to the presence of listed individuals on its territory “lays bare the insincerity of Pakistan in responding to legitimate expectations of the world that they will track down international terrorists based on its soil”.
“Pakistan has not only maintained its opposition to this international consensus but it has also chosen not to act against them,” he said.
He said Pakistan has “never taken any credible and verifiable action against terror entities or listed individuals, including the most wanted ones”.
“This subsequent denial by their foreign office calls into question their intentions and it would not mislead the world community in believing its propaganda. Pakistan must take credible action and ensure that the listed individuals are prosecuted,” he said.
In a turn of events that had been expected by New Delhi, Pakistan Sunday stepped back from its acknowledgment — which became public on Saturday — of the presence of Dawood Ibrahim on its soil.
Dawood figured in a list of 88 individuals published as a SRO by Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to escape blacklisting by the Financial Action Task Force.
On Sunday, however, the Pakistan foreign ministry in a statement brushed aside as “baseless and misleading” media that said Islamabad had “admitted to the presence of certain listed individuals on its territory”. The SRO mentioning Dawood was a “routine matter”, it said.