Ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to India, the US is rushing through to meet his commitment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on counter- terrorism, including targeting underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and dismantling LeT, JeM, al-Qaeda and the Haqqanis This week the US Treasury Department slapped sanctions against two key aides of India’s most wanted underworld don Dawood, who runs his D-Company criminal network from Karachi.
By targeting Mehran Paper Mill, a Kotri City, Pakistan-based paper company owned by Anis Ibrahim, brother of Dawood, is a clear indication from the US about how entrenched D-Company is in Pakistan.
Anis and Aziz Moosa Bilakhia (Bilakhia) have been designated as Narcotics Traffickers under Kingpin Act due to their ties to D-Company.
Following their White House meeting on September 30, Modi and Obama had stressed the need for joint and concerted efforts, including the dismantling of safe havens for terror and criminal networks, to disrupt all financial and tactical support for networks such as al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, the D-Company, and the Haqqanis.
They reiterated their call for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai to justice.
The reported move by Pakistan to impose a ban on terrorist networks including the Haqqani network and Jamat ud-Dawah is also seen as part of the effort of the Obama Administration to push Islamabad in this regard.
Such a move by Pakistan has come soon after the Islamabad visit of Secretary of State John Kerry. The US has described this as a welcome development.
In his meetings with the Pakistani leadership, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Kerry stressed on the need to bring to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack.
The US was quick to come out in public against the decision of a Pakistani court granted bail to LeT leader Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, who played a key role in the Mumbai attack that left 166 people dead, including six Americans.
Working behind the scene, it is understood to have asked Pakistan to ensure that Lakhvi remains behind bar.
In the last few months, the US is believed to have also impressed upon Pakistan to take action against Dawood â€“ a designated terrorist.
Officials in the US firmly believe that the underworld don is staying in a safe hideout in the port city of Karachi.
US officials are not willing to buy the Pakistani argument that Dawood is not in Pakistan.
In fact they point out to the concrete evidences provided by them and the Indians in this regard.