New Delhi: Underworld fugitive and India’s most wanted terrorist, Dawood Ibrahim, was killed on the orders of the Pakistan army’s top officials, claim intelligence inputs from two countries with deep penetration into GHQ Rawalpindi, as well as domestic agencies that were keeping an eye on Dawood on a priority basis since 2017. They add that his relatives have been ordered to deny the news in view of the circumstances of the death, which was “anything but related to disease or an accident”. According to them, for some months GHQ was wanting to make Dawood “disappear permanently” in view of intense pressure (mainly from the United States) to extradite the fugitive from Karachi. Dawood was responsible for the murder of several US citizens.

The sources say that it is as yet unclear how the “coup de grace” was delivered by an “assignment squad”, which involved military-linked medical personnel, but speculate that a chemical injected into the body may have been responsible for the sudden collapse of the global terrorist’s vital organs.

According to officials aware of the development, Dawood, who lived in a very protected and controlled environment, did not die due to Covid-19, as was reported before the ISI got into action with myriad posts debunking the news. Rather, his elimination occurred due to a “medical procedure carried out with the express intention of killing him”, the two external sources affirm. They add that “it was to be expected that this would be denied” by GHQ Rawalpindi, “who has long been expert at cooking up medical records signed by actual doctors” or in different circumstances, not admitting that such records exist. Pakistan has always denied that Dawood was in the country, just as they denied that Osama bin Laden was the guest of GHQ in Abbottabad. The fear was that “either India or the US or both would carry out an operation to take out Dawood or even bring him or his body back with them”. Hence the reported decision to act before his enemies could.

According to them, the reason for the “neutralisation” of Dawood was the “immense pressure that was being placed on Pakistan by the US to bring Dawood to justice”. This pressure “was the direct consequence of the flood of intelligence that Indian agencies have regularly been supplying to their US and other counterparts (except to China, where the PLA is known to transmit such confidential information immediately to GHQ Rawalpindi) about the precise whereabouts of Dawood, his family resident in the Gulf and with him in Pakistan, as well as close associates of the don. Wherever he was moved, in FATA or in Sindh or in PoK, agencies such as NTRO would track his whereabouts.

Agencies in India confirm that there has been unprecedented cooperation in matters of high security importance as a consequence of the close relationship formed between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with Qatar being the outlier on account of its dependence on Turkey for access as a consequence of the four-nation blockade of Doha within the GCC.

An official, who has been tasked with keeping an eye on the D-Company stated that in the past few months, the decision makers at General Headquarters (GHQ), Rawalpindi, the headquarters of the Pakistan army, has come under a lot of pressure after relevant agencies from the United States and the United Kingdom (who were being regularly briefed by Indian agencies, R&AW and NTRO) generated multiple real time evidence and presented irrefutable proof of Dawood’s location and his presence in Karachi and Islamabad to friendly powers openly unhappy with the way in which China has been misusing its UNSC veto to block action against known international terrorists protected by GHQ Rawalpindi.

Reportedly, PM Modi has ordered the creation of a specific R&AW desk that was constantly generating fresh inputs regarding Dawood’s activities and presence in Pakistan, which was being shared with the relevant agencies of the US and UK. The PM’s purpose was to bring him to justice, “come what may”, a source revealed. Prime Minister Modi’s relentless secret diplomacy with friendly powers resulted in external pressure that Islamabad found impossible to bear in the context of the desperate need of Pakistan for funds to rescue its economy.

According to the official, it was expected that in the coming months, Pakistan PM Imran Khan would have been asked by the Western countries, with pressure from agencies like FATF and IMF, to extradite Dawood to the United States. From there, the don would have been sent to Delhi. Hence, the officials at GHQ, Rawalpindi decided to eliminate him before succumbing to such a scenario. His extradition to the US or to India would have opened the proverbial can of worms, which would have put the entire leadership of the Pakistan army under the spotlight. The pandemic, which originated in Wuhan, China, proved a credible way of taking out an asset who had long outlived his utility to his financially strapped hosts.

Pakistan is unlikely to announce or accept his death, ever, because officially Pakistan has maintained that Dawood was not inside their country’s borders. On the contrary, denials are expected from his family members, who do and say what the ISI wants them to.

In July 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), while seeking the extradition of one of Dawood’s close aides, Jabir Motiwala, had stated that Dawood was based in Pakistan. Motiwala, who was arrested from London in August 2018 during a raid at Hilton hotel, North London, is presently lodged in Wandsworth prison, London awaiting the formal clearance of his extradition from the UK Home Department. His extradition was allowed by the UK court after the FBI presented multiple audio and video tapes in the courts that showed Motiwala regularly interacting with the Karachi based Dawood and taking instructions on how to manage drug trafficking activities and finance operations in US and Europe.