Once upon a time in Mumbai there was a gangster who from petty crime and extortion turned a big leaf when he started controlling the underworld in Mumbai. He ruled Mumbai then called Bombay for most of the 80s. He was connected politically and had lots of influence. Then in 1993 everything changed as Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, the underworld don-turned terror mastermind fled the country.
He was indicted in the 1993 Mumbai blasts that killed 257 people, among them many Muslims as well. India has been on his hunt ever since.
Successive governments at the centre have believed that Dawood Ibrahim has been in Pakistan ever since the 90s and has had help from the military establishment in Pakistan. In fact not only help, many in this country say that he is indeed a prize asset for the ISI.
In the past the govt of India gave dossier after dossier to Pakistan giving hard physical evidence about Dawood’s entrenched empire in Pakistan, not only in its port city of Karachi, believed to be his official base, but also in the capital Islamabad along with other cities.
The latest development, and a big development certainly is that the UN Security Council Committee on Al Qaeda and Daesh has validated 6 out of the 9 addresses cited by India in its latest dossier on Dawood, submitted both to Paksitan and to the UN.
This comes as a major shot in the arm for India as Pakistan has very little space to hide now. Pakistan has predictably tried to deflect by raising the Samjhauta blast investigation but that has not taken away from the fact that the United Nations Security Council mandated panel on terrorism organisation agrees with the Indian position. That is a huge victory for Indian diplomacy.
The question now is how can India build on this victory and what are the options available to India now given that what was common knowledge in India till a few days back is now an established fact worldwide. How will Maleeha Lodhi Pakistan Ambasssor to the UN try to spin this? Does Pakistan really have a choice now but to cooperate with India on Dawood Ibrahim?