Mumbai, Aug. 10 (ANI): The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Saturday said former Pakistani diplomat Shahryar Khan's statement about the presence of Dawood Ibrahim in Pakistan was intended to divert the attention of the Indian Army from the Line Of Control (LoC).
"India has repeatedly given Pakistan proof through phone records that Dawood is in Pakistan. Pakistan is using this statement to mislead the Indian troops from LoC; they are trying to divert our troops' attention elsewhere," NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said.
The NCP also asked the Congress-led UPA Government to continue to mound pressure on Pakistan, so that they will confess that the underworld don is taking shelter in their country.
"We appeal to the Central Government to continue with the pressure that they have been putting on Paksitan. If they continue to pressurize, Pakistan will eventually be helpless and admit that Dawood is in their country," Malik said.
According to reports, Shahryar Khan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's special envoy for improving relations with India, said on Friday that Dawood was in Pakistan but has been "chased out" and could be in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
While speaking to reporters at a pre-launch event for his book "Cricket Cauldron: The Turbulent Politics of Sport in Pakistan" in London, Shahryar Khan said: "Dawood (Ibrahim) was in Pakistan, but I believe he was chased out of Pakistan. If he is in Pakistan, he should be hounded and arrested. We cannot allow such gangsters to operate from the country," said Khan. The former diplomat added that if Dawood was still in Pakistan he would have been arrested by now.
However, Khan later did a U-turn on his statement when he told an Indian television channel that he had never known where Dawood lived and his earlier statement was just reflecting what the Pakistani media has been reporting in the past.
Dawood Ibrahim, one of the 'most wanted' people to India, is the prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai attacks which killed over 250 people and injured about 700 people in a single day.
12 March, 1993 came to be known as "Black Friday," in light of the 13 bomb explosions that rocked Mumbai that day. (ANI)