India on Wednesday welcomed the United States move to designate underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's two top aides Chhota Shakeel and Tiger Memon as key drug traffickers, saying it was a reaffirmation of India's stand and asked "those countries" "harbouring" them to bring them to justice.
"We welcome any such designations because it is reaffirmation of what we have always been saying that narco-terrorism is a threat not only to India but to the world beyond. Any designation of this sort indicates that there is an interest well beyond India to bring these people to justice," official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin said.
"We would also urge that those countries who may harbour any of these should bring to them to justice," he said in an apparent reference to Pakistan", he said.
India has been maintaining that all three are in Pakistan and their names are among those who figure in the 'most wanted' list given by New Delhi to Islamabad.
Targeting the "nexus of crime and terrorism" in South Asia, the US has designated Chhota Shakeel and Tiger Memon as key drug traffickers and slapped sanctions on them.
The US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated 57-year-old Shakeel and 52-year-old Memon as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) for their roles as part of a criminal organisation run by Dawood Ibrahim known as 'D Company'.
56-year-old Dawood was named as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in October 2003, and in June 2006, he was named as a Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker.
Also in June 2006, the Dawood organisation was named as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker.