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Issue No.: 576 | June 2015

Dawood’s Return?

Ashok Karnik
Dawood’s extradition case is also much misunderstood. How can a country that denies his presence in its jurisdiction be asked to extradite him to India.

A lot of hot air was generated over a senior former CBI officer’s claim that he was approached in 1994 to discuss the possibility of Dawood’s return from Pakistan to face trial for the 1993 Mumbai blasts. It was speculated that this possibility was sabotaged by interested politicians and policemen who were afraid that Dawood would expose his connections with them if he returned to India. The then CBI Director denied this claim but a few other officers sprang up to back the story. As usual the media went to town and speculated who the top politicians could be. Some usual suspects were mentioned too, without much thought. There is no doubt Dawood had connections with politicians and police officers but the current speculations are based on half-knowledge. It is not as if the former CBI officer and others are lying. Every fugitive tries to utilize every contact at different levels to explore how he can escape severe punishment. Dawood must have approached several officials and lawyers, including Ram Jethmalani, who are now coming out with their versions. They may be correct but do not know that several such contacts are used only to see if a workable plan can be evolved. Several channels are used because if one gets blocked, another is available. Therefore politicians or police officers, howsoever powerful, cannot block the offer completely. Such approaches are exploratory till real deal-makers are reached. The deal makers are not identifiable and they keep the Government out of such ‘unauthorized’ negotiations. In fact, a veil of ‘deniability’ is built around such activities. The argument that the State Government (Sharad Pawar) or the Central Government (Narasimha Rao) should have acted on Dawood’s offer is ludicrous as no Government can be caught dealing with a terrorist/murderer. It can deal only with the Government concerned and not bargain with criminals. Hostage situations are different.

Secret deals are indeed made but these are struck by shadowy unidentifiable agencies through middlemen who are equally untraceable. CBI officers who are well known are never likely to be used to strike a deal. CBI is not only accountable to the Government but also to Courts. Its officers cannot participate in any deal with a criminal without the Court’s approval. No wonder that the CBI officer got a cold shoulder from above. The media speculation that Dawood’s surrender was sabotaged by certain politicians is a speculation only and just that. Given a little more thought, one should wonder what Dawood can reveal in India that he cannot do from Pakistan? If he or the ISI were bent on causing damage to some politicians’ careers, they could leak the same information more securely from Pakistan than from an Indian jail. One thing is clear that whatever conditions Dawood might have presented, the only concession he would have got was the choice of the method of hanging! Even the shadowy agencies might not have touched Dawood’s offer.

Another rather juvenile argument presented was that if Dawood had been brought back in 1994, the 26/11 attack on Mumbai could have been averted. This is childish as the attack was planned by the Lashkar-e-Toiba (L-eT) with the support of the ISI. In case Dawood was not available, L-e-T/ISI would have found an alternative.

Dawood’s extradition case is also much misunderstood. How can a country that denies his presence in its jurisdiction be asked to extradite him to India. The faux pas of a junior Minister in Parliament saying that "we do not know where Dawood is” had to be undone by the Home Minister claiming that Dawood is very much in Pakistan. The extradition move is only a pipe dream! It would have been great to get our hands on Dawood but let us not assume that he was ready to fall and somebody in India prevented his fall due to ulterior motives. Even the CIA with its worldwide network and immense resources took ten years to detect and eliminate Osama-bin-Laden. We need to have greater patience, not in the hope that Pakistan would change its colours but in the capacity of our agencies to deliver.

Mr. ASHOK V. KARNIK is formerly Deputy Director, Intelligence Bureau, Government of India.
 Freelance writer and member of the Advisory Board of Freedom First.






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Tribute to S. V. Raju

Nurturing a Tradition

Jehangir Patel

Fond Reminiscences of our dear Editor ...


Raju and Freedom First

Ashok Karnik

Remembering Raju

Firoze Hirjikaka

Guntur Remembers Raju


Tribute to S. V. Raju



The National Scene

NDA’s Management of the Economy – More of the Same

Ranga Kota

Agrarian Crisis – Rural Distress – and All That

Sunil S. Bhandare

Rahul Resurgent

Firoze Hirjikaka

The Year That Was ...

H. R. BapuSatyanarayana

The Rural Perspective

Agriculture and Rural Indebtedness - VIII

R. M. Mohan Rao

Point Counter Point : Every issue has at least two sides


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Being Salman Khan

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Farmers’ Suicides

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Foreign Relations in the 21st Century

Modi Goes to China: Development at Home and Peace on the Border

B. Ramesh Babu

ISIS - A New Threat

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Dawood’s Return?

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Swastika: Whose Symbol Is It Any Way?

Nitin G. Raut

The Swatantra Party in Gujarat - A Historical Perspective

The Swatantra Party in Gujarat: A Shooting Star (Part II)

Usha Thakkar
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