For the first time, Pakistan has admitted to the presence of one of India's most-wanted terrorists Dawood Ibrahim, but said he has been "chased out" and could be in the "UAE".
"Dawood (Ibrahim) was in Pakistan but I believe he was chased out of Pakistan. If he is in Pakistan, he should be hounded and arrested. We cannot allow such gangsters to operate from the country," said Shahryar Khan, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's special envoy for improving relations with India.
The former diplomat stressed that if the gangster was in the country he would have been arrested by now.
He was speaking to reporters at a pre-launch event organised by the Indian Journalists' Association for his latest book Cricket Cauldron: 'The Turbulent Politics of Sport in Pakistan' in London.
"I think he is in the UAE. The Nawaz Sharif government is very much in favour of taking action against criminals who not only affect Pakistan but also any other country, whether it is India or Afghanistan or wherever. We cannot allow criminals to flourish in the country. If they come to us, we will take action. That is why I think he (Dawood) has left Pakistan," Khan added.
The former Pakistani foreign secretary also reiterated the newly-elected Pakistan government's commitment to hold talks with moderate elements of the Taliban.
"Pakistan has been in favour of discussions with the Taliban of the more moderate ilk. But a large number are not moderate. There are those operating in Pakistan who are not moderate. However, Pakistan remains inclined to talk to the reasonable ones," he said.
Image: File image of Dawood Ibrahim