MALIGNING THE FACTS

Trying to create a linkage between Dawood Ibrahim and Pakistan, the Zee News last month published a report which said, “Once upon a time, Dawood Ibrahim had a great influence on Bollywood and he used to invest in several Bollywood films. Many Indian actors used to go to attend his house parties too. But it seems that Dawood’s interest in the film industry has not ended even after running away to Pakistan.” The compilers of this Mumbo-Jumbo type of report have themselves admitted that Dawood Ibrahim had been investing a lot in the Bollywood and his investments had made him the most influential figure in the film industry. If he were really a criminal, why did the Indian Intelligence and law-enforcement agencies keep their eyes closed on his activities? There could be two reasons for their negligence; either these agencies had some very personal type of monitory interests or they were inefficient. Dawood Ibrahim is India’s so-called most wanted ‘terrorist’ and the 1993 Mumbai blasts’ alleged mastermind. By publishing such type of baseless report, the Zee News not only abrogated the true basis of fair journalism but also violated all ethical rules and regulations by misreporting that ‘he (Dawood Ibrahim) is not only in Pakistan but has also got the support of the Imran Khan government and its intelligence agencies.’. If Dawood Ibrahim and his family have some alleged relations with Pakistan, it does not mean, he is enjoying the support of the government of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan.

A few weeks back, the Times of India also published the same type of report prepared by the Global Watch Analysis. This report showed nothing but the fear of the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency of Pakistan the ISI which is haunting the whole of R&AW set up. The said report was reprinted in different newspapers and on-aired at various news channels; certainly, most of these newspapers and channels did it on the desire of the R&AW. The report said, “Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI, has been using the services of Pakistani crime syndicates operating in several countries, including France and Thailand, to further its agenda.” According to the details provided in the report, Thailand Police arrested a Pakistan national named Baqar Shah who came to the notice of the Thai authorities when he organized an anti-American protest outside the US Consulate in Chiang Mai in September 2012. In February 2016, his name again surfaced when Thailand Police busted a major fake passport syndicate in the country and an Iranian national, Hamid Reza Jafary, and five Pakistanis were arrested. It is nothing but a childish joke that among the arrested six culprits, one was Iranian and five were allegedly Pakistanis, so following the philosophy ‘ majority is authority’ the whole cart of dirt was ‘awarded’ to Pakistan.

It is quite natural that fear and fright compel us to blame those we are frightened of; the same fact we find behind all this blame game. It is an admitted reality that tourism strengthens the economy of a country but at the same time, it increases the crime rate. It is also a fact that some criminals also travel frequently to other countries in the guise of tourists. They try to establish new contacts in the countries they visit and in this way they try to spread and enhance their criminal net-working. There are so many gangs of criminals who started their journey from America and ultimately their radius of working crossed the American boundaries. There are so many other groups of the same type in different countries; Cosa Nostra is also one of them. Cosa Nostra frequently known as the Sicilian Mafia is an Italian organized crime syndicate, originated somewhere in the 19th century in the region of Sicily. Some experts on history say that its roots can be traced back to the early days of New York City’s lower east side. By the 20th century, following wide-scale emigration from Sicily, the organization acquired a strong presence in other countries in North and South America Reports say that Cosa Nostra has around 25,000 members and more than 250,000 ‘affiliates’ around the world. The members of this organization are always involved in illegal and criminal activities but no Intelligence Agency has ever been blamed for patronizing this organization.

Before linking the ISI with the criminal syndicates working in Bangkok, we must cast a look at a report published in March 2018 in Little India, a news portal. The report indicated that a total of 84 foreigners were arrested by the Bangkok police for entering the country illegally and breaking the law. The arrested ones included 25 Indians, 31 Myanmar nationals, 18 Laotians, 4 Cambodians, one Vietnamese, one Iraqi, two Nigerians and one Afghan. The total number of detainees was 117. Moreover, 20 foreigners were arrested for overstaying their tourist visas. The list comprised five Indians, two Egyptians, a Russian, a Dutch, a Laotian, a Myanmar national, a Grecian, four Cambodians, two Chinese, one Vietnamese and one person from Qatar. But the government of Thailand did not blame the Intelligence Agencies of the countries these arrested ones belonged to. Zee News’ all hue and cry over the arrest of just one Pakistani in Bangkok is difficult to understand. People would certainly desire to know if the Zee News had raised the same ‘hullabaloo’ when 25 Indians were arrested in Bangkok in 2018 and if the Global Watch had done the same willful effort to establish linkage between the arrested ones and the R&AW.

A very important point to be clarified is that as the Muslim community all over the world could not be held responsible for the misdoings of every individual Muslim, in the same way, the whole Pakistani nation could not be criticized for the criminal activities of an individual Pakistani. The same is the case with the Hindus; all Hindus are neither extremist nor brutal in their approach, neither prejudiced nor narrow-minded; there are countless Indians who condemned the action of demolishing the Babri Mosque, of burning the houses of Muslim families and abrogation of the Article 35-A and 370. Moreover, there are so many Hindus who rescued their Muslim neighbors from the clutches of BJP’s violent extremists in incidents of racial violence.