The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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The invisible American hand

Dubai, Dec. 9: Neither side will want to acknowledge the fact, but without the active participation of Americans India might not have been able to get Anees Ibrahim detained in Dubai.

When Anees arrived in Dubai on November 29, the team of American officials sitting at the airport and monitoring arrivals and departures knew that he was carrying a fake Pakistani passport.

The Americans told the Dubai authorities that Anees’ passport was forged because he was not a Pakistani national. Sources say it would not be far-fetched to conclude that the Americans consulted the Indians who wanted Anees, charged with having a hand in the Bombay blasts, detained.

Anees was visiting Dubai to be with his wife and children during Id. Although he arrived on November 29, he was detained only on December 5, almost a full week later.

Given Dubai’s close relations with Islamabad, it is no surprise that the Emirate authorities took a long time to decide on the detention of someone who had been issued a passport by Pakistan, though the information contained in it — that Anees is a Pakistani national — was false.

It is not only embarrassing for Pakistan but also a corroboration of the Indian charge that it harbours criminals and terrorists.

Officials in Delhi claimed the arrest was a result of a red-corner notice issued by the Interpol because Anees was wanted in the Bombay blasts case, but sources here said if that be so, he could have been arrested earlier.

Apparently, Indians are only being asked to prove Anees’ identity and if they are able to show he is an Indian national, the chances are deportation will go through because the UAE has already set a precedent by handing over Aftab Ansari — also arrested for carrying a fake passport — who was wanted in connection with the attack on the American Center in Calcutta in January.

New Delhi should be able to prove his identity since his Indian passport, now standing revoked, was issued in Dubai.

But A.K. Gupta, the CBI official India has sent, is believed to be carrying papers in connection with charges of Anees’ involvement in the blasts, which may not work.

K.C. Singh, the ambassador to the UAE, was in New Delhi last week possibly to discuss the development and has gone back since to pursue the case.

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