The generals in Pakistan’s all-powerful army have an arsenal of interests: involvement in corruption, other scandals, and running weapons and narcotics rackets are among them. To maintain their clout, they throw accusations at the civil governments as well as the politicians who are traditionally Punjabi businessmen.
And while these generals have learnt the art of doing business, the businessmen never learnt the art of war, so to speak.
Terrorist and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s presence in Karachi was denied for almost 19 years by the Pakistan army. And on a yearly basis, India provides a dossier on him with passport numbers issued in Pakistan and addresses of his properties in Karachi.
Dawood was moving about like a normal, rich Pakistani citizen in Karachi up to 2016 but covert operations by Indian agencies put a stop to that. Now in 2020, his name has been added to the list of banned terrorists and uploaded on the website of Pakistan’s ministry of foreign affairs. It was a major surprise not only for Dawood but chiefs of Indian agencies also got a major shock.
In our understanding, Dawood Ibrahim was blacklisted mainly because of three important reasons.
The D-Company is going through major financial crises. Individually Dawood and the Company may have money, but transactional business has stopped due to Covid-19. People around D-Company say they were hit by this and their legal businesses are almost on the verge of shutdown. The only option of trading in weapons and narcotics has also stopped due to pressure by the Indian government.
The ‘grey list’ issue is the second big problem where the Pakistani establishment is trying its best to clear its name and is ready to offer anything to make it go away. Imran Khan personally is not corrupt and strategically he understands his importance and available alternatives. Plus he knows his support and image in the cricketing world.
Reports are coming that there is a major rift between Imran Khan and army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa and we must accept that Imran is not taking pressure from any quarter or institution in this regard at this time.
The previous two parties that ruled, the PPP and PMLN, carry heavy baggage of their personal weakness, corruption, scandals, etc, and they don’t stand a chance against the powerful institutions.
So, while there is no authentic information, we can say that Imran Khan disapproved of people like Dawood Ibrahim who are enjoying a good life and were living above the law.
Also, as we know that an individual, no matter how strong or important he or she is, is only temporary for the Pakistan army and subject to becoming a liability for the powers that be. The army didn’t even spare its own Chief (Pervez Musharraf) or the beloved Mian Sahab.
So, yes, for the first time D-Company names have made front-page news in Pakistan media. And it is really very, very strange, and may perhaps signal a turning point in Pakistan’s policy towards them.