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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Pakistan Army to conduct inquiry against former ISI chief for co-authoring book with ex-RAW head

Former ISI chief Asad Durrani has been in the eye of a storm in Pakistan since the recent release of the book ‘The Spy Chronicles’ — a series of discussions between him and a former RAW head on Kashmir, Mumbai attacks, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other issues.

world Updated: May 29, 2018 00:14 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Former ISI Asad Durrani may be barred from leaving Pakistan.
Former ISI Asad Durrani may be barred from leaving Pakistan.(File Photo)

The Pakistan Army announced on Monday that it will conduct an inquiry against former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Asad Durrani for co-authoring the book ‘The Spy Chronicles’ with former RAW head AS Dulat.

The military’s media arm said in a brief statement that the “competent authority” had been approached to include Durrani’s name in the interior ministry’s Exit Control List (ECL). People included in the ECL are barred from leaving Pakistan.

Durrani, 77, has been in the eye of a storm in Pakistan since the recent release of the book that is described as a series of discussions between the two spy chiefs on a range of issues, including the situation in Kashmir, the 2008 Mumbai attacks and anti-India groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Lt Gen (retired) Durrani “was called to GHQ today to explain his position on the recently launched book Spy Chronicles. A formal Court of Inquiry headed by a serving lieutenant general has been ordered to probe the matter in detail,” said the statement from the Pakistani military.

On Saturday, chief military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor had tweeted that Durrani had been called to the General Headquarters to “explain his position on views attributed to him” in the book. Such attribution, Ghafoor added, was “taken as violation of Military Code of Conduct applicable on all serving and retired military personnel”.

The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace has received an adverse response in sections of the Pakistani media. Durrani has been targeted by some commentators and retired generals for his revelations on a range of issues, including the Pakistani military’s role in building up the Hurriyat in Kashmir in the 1990s, and has even been accused of treason.

Former premier Nawaz Sharif appeared to draw a parallel between the military’s sharp reaction to his recent comments questioning the policy of using Pakistan-based militant groups against India and the military’s initial lack of response to the book by Durrani and Dulat.

Sharif had called for the National Security Committee (NSC) to convene a meeting on the book, just like the one that had condemned his remarks. He also said Durrani, through the book, had made public some “serious information” that made it necessary to call an emergency meeting of the NSC to discuss the matter.

Opposition leader Raza Rabbani of the Pakistan People’s Party, while addressing the upper house of Parliament last week, had said that if a politician had teamed up with an Indian counterpart to write such a book, he would have been branded a traitor.

First Published: May 29, 2018 00:07 IST