'US showed lack of interest in Dawood's deportation'
New Delhi (PTI): The United States showed "lack of enthusiasm" in getting underworld don Dawood Ibrahim deported to India from Pakistan despite making some initial efforts, says senior BJP leader L K Advani.
Advani, in his memoir 'My Country My Life', notes with deep disappointment America's reticence in pressing Pakistan to hand over Dawood, wanted in connection with 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, to India.
The former Deputy Prime Minister writes in detail his efforts to get Dawood and his meetings with the then US Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in this regard.
He notes that Indian officials handed over a copy of the list of Top 20 most-wanted terrorists taken refuge in Pakistan to their US counterparts during his visit to that country in January 2002, a month after the Parliament attack.
Advani recollects that within ten days of his meeting with Powell, he came on a whirlwind tour of India and Pakistan in a bid to lower tension and gave "clearer indication" that the Bush administration had decided to ask then President Pervez Musharraf to combat terrorism.
"He (Powell) told his Indian interlocutors that Pakistan would hand over Dawood Ibrahim to India 'with some strings attached' and also that Musharraf needed 15 to 20 days more for doing so," he writes.
However, Advani says he "started facing hurdles" soon and recollecting it now "is not a very happy experience."
"When Powell came to India, I was unpleasantly surprised to know that I was not among the Indian officials meeting him. The PMO's explanation, from what I gathered, was that since I had met the US Secretary of State only ten days earlier in Washington, there was no need for me to meet him again," he says.