New Delhi: Expressing "surprise and shock" at the Centre's stand that it was not aware of the location of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Congress on Tuesday said Pakistan's ISI would have given a similar reply had it been asked the same question.
"This statement that the government does not know where Dawood Ibrahim seems to replicate Pakistan's official position on him... It is almost as if the Indian government's reply is the same that the ISI themselves would have given had they been asked the same question. ISI must be thankful about it," Congress spokesman Gaurav Gogoi told reporters.
He said Congress is "surprised and shocked" over the stand taken by the BJP government in Parliament on Tuesday.
"The subject has not been located so far. Extradition process with regard to Dawood Ibrahim would be initiated once the subject is located," Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said while replying to a written question of BJP MP Nityanand Rai.
Insisting that the statement is shocking on two accounts, Gogoi said, "It is shocking because during the election campaign (Narendra) Modi had made a strong and vociferous pitch saying that once he becomes the Prime Minister, Dawood would be brought back to India."
Besides, it contradicted the position taken by Minister of State for Home Kiran Rijiju in December 2014 that the government was well aware of where Dawood Ibrahim is. Rijiju had also said that the BJP government was speaking to the Pakistani government on this issue.
"It seems that either the BJP government had made a false election promise which they had no intention to keep or currently they are not serious about bringing Dawood Ibrahim back," Gogoi said.
He said the move has put India's own global position on terrorism into a jeopardy because for the past many years the government had maintained that Pakistan harbours terrorism and those responsible for the attacks on Mumbai.
"Now for the government to say that we do not know where he is has diluted our own position," he said, adding it also means that the government has eased its pressure on Pakistan, which previous governments for the past 20 years had been building on Pakistan to hand over Dawood.
"There cannot be a compromise on terrorism and on our foreign policy. We need to be consistent and not have a flip flop or U-turn."
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Updated Date: May 05, 2015 21:23:28 IST