The debate over Dawood Ibrahim's Pakistani citizenship continues mainly because the fugitive don enjoys a special status in that country. For all purposes, he is a citizen but is treated like a state guest by the Pakistani authorities, say sources in the Indian intelligence network.
Pakistan did not have provisions for economic citizenship - a process that allows fugitives to negotiate citizenship in return for money. However, it ensured in the early 1990s that Dawood would enjoy citizen-like privileges.
The deal then was this status - and protection - was in return for large and negotiated amounts of money given to certain institutions in distress and clandestine transfers of nuclear technology, sources added.
For all practical purposes, Dawood Ibrahim has an economic citizenship in Pakistan but under assumed names; the aliases allow Pakistan to deny his presence when questioned at international forums, sources say.
Accordingly, Dawood has at least three aliases, each with its own passport and other documents, the most well-known one being Sheikh Dawood Hassan. While his presence in Karachi, Lahore and other cities and tribal areas of Pakistan has been established by Indian and international intelligence agencies, Pakistan has staunchly denied it.
Pakistani media, till the late 90s, detailed his lavish life-style and investments in Karachi, Lahore and other cities.