Mumbai: The news of the death of global terrorist and fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim, who is wanted by India for several crimes including the 1993 Mumbai blasts, has been revealed to be a hoax orchestrated by Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI. The motive behind this false news was to create confusion and panic among the Indian authorities and the public and to divert attention from the security threats faced by Dawood in Pakistan.
How the hoax was planned and executed
According to sources, the ISI hatched the plan to spread the fake news of Dawood’s death after the poisoning of Sajid Mir, the main accused in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, in a Pakistani jail in September. The ISI feared that Dawood could be the next target of a covert operation by India or other countries, and wanted to create a cover for his escape.
The ISI also sought the help of the acting Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, who read out a eulogy for Dawood and praised his contributions to the country. The ISI then shut down the internet and mobile networks in Karachi, where Dawood was reportedly based, and leaked the news of his death on YouTube through a Pakistani female journalist, Arzoo Kazmi. Kazmi claimed that Dawood had been poisoned and his condition was critical. She also said that no one in Pakistan dared to speak openly about this.
The ISI also instructed the mainstream media in Pakistan to refrain from running the news of Dawood’s death and instead showed the funeral of Dawood’s close friend and former cricketer Javed Miandad, who had died of natural causes. The ISI also staged a military parade on the streets of Karachi to create an impression of chaos and unrest.
How the hoax was exposed and debunked
The ISI’s plan, however, did not fool the Indian agencies, who activated their underworld sources and verified the facts. They found out that Dawood was alive and had been shifted to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, along with his three top aides. They also contacted Dawood’s right-hand man, Chhota Shakeel, who confirmed that Dawood was fine and dismissed the news of his death as a rumor.
The Mumbai Police also issued a statement denying the reports of Dawood’s poisoning and said that they had investigated the underworld sources and found no truth in them. They said that the news circulating on social media was false and baseless.
Why the Hoax Matters
The hoax of Dawood’s death has exposed the nexus between the ISI and Dawood, who is accused of masterminding several terror attacks in India, including the 1993 Mumbai blasts that killed over 250 people. Dawood is also involved in drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion and other crimes. He is one of the most wanted criminals in India and has been designated as a global terrorist by the UN.
The hoax also shows the desperation of the ISI to protect Dawood from any possible action by India or other countries, and to remove him from the FATF blacklist, which has imposed sanctions on Pakistan for its failure to curb terror financing. The hoax also indicates the lack of credibility and transparency of the Pakistani media and government, who have been complicit in the ISI’s propaganda.