GHQ summons ex-ISI chief Asad Durrani

Rawalpindi : PakArmy has summoned the former head former Inter Services Intelligence chief Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani  to present an explanation after he co-authored a controversial book with a former Indian intelligence chief.

The announcement came just after midnight when DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor tweeted that former Inter Services Intelligence chief Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani was being summoned to General Headquarters on May 28.

“He will be asked to explain his position on views attributed to him in the book ‘Spy Chronicles’. Attribution [is being] taken as [a] violation of Military Code of Conduct applicable on all serving and retired military personnel,” Maj-Gen Ghafoor added.

Lt-Gen Durrani has co-authored ‘The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace’ with former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief Amarjit Singh Dulat and Indian journalist Aditya Sinha.

Lt-Gen Durrani made certain observations including a claim that then prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani was fully onboard regarding the US Navy Seals operation against Osama Bin Ladin in Abbottabad and that a special deal was struck between the US and Pakistani governments in this regard.

 

He also went on to suggest that Pakistan mishandled the case of convicted Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav, claiming he would eventually be handed over to India.

Military sources said that GHQ had serious reservations over some of the comments in the book, terming them baseless and contrary to facts.

It was because of this reason Lt-Gen Durrani was asked to clarify his position in the context of the military code of conduct that bars any serving or retired military official from making remarks that compromise the country’s national security.

“No one is above the law,” said a military source while citing the reason behind summoning the ex-spy chief.

The development came after several people including politicians questioned how a retired general could co-author a book with a former RAW chief.

‘The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace’ 
‘The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace’

‘The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace’ is co-authored by Durrani, former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) former chief AS Dulat and an Indian journalist Aditiya Sinha.

Deposed premier Nawaz Sharif has called for convening a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) to discuss a recently published book, jointly authored by the former spymasters of Pakistan and India while former Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani has also questioned the collaboration.

“The revelations in the book require the NSC [meets],” Sharif said on Friday while talking to media outside the accountability court, which is hearing corruption references against the former premier and his family members in line with apex court’s July 28, 2017 order.

“An NSC meeting should be convened to discuss the threats that come with Durrani’s new book with a former RAW chief. The revelations in the book call for the NSC.

“A national commission should be formed to oversee such issues and investigate them.  If given the chance to form a government again, we would initiate such a commission,” he added.

Sharif’s demand comes in the backdrop of last week’s NSC meeting held to discuss his controversial interview with regard to the alleged role of Pakistan-based non-state actors in the 2008 Mumbai attack.

Discussing the issue in the upper house of parliament on Friday, former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani said if a politician or a civilian had agreed to co-author a book with an Indian, they would have been charged with treason.

“The book of two ex-intelligence chiefs of Pakistan and India has been published. It is astonishing that despite the deeply strained relations, this book is being launched.”

“There would’ve been ruckus and religious decrees against politicians and civilians had they moved in this direction, they would’ve been booked for treason as a result of their ‘revelations’,” he added.

Rabbani also urged Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir to reply on the matter.

The senator also questions about Durrani taking prior ‘permissions’ for the publication from his former institution. “Did Lt-Gen Durrani take permission from his institute before authoring such a book?” This isn’t a trivial issue. Relations between the two countries are going through a rough patch.”

Durrani is unlikely to attend the launch of his book as the Indian government has not issued him a visa. During an interview, AS Dulat suggested that the Indian government invite army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to restart the stalled talks between the two countries.

“Roll out that red carpet, invite General Bajwa and see what happens,” he stated.

Both authors described the people-to-people contact between both countries as a “low hanging fruit” that could be used to resume cricket ties as well. Durrani said, “The agreement to have a joint anti-terror mechanism would have been a great achievement for both. Alas, that was not to be.”

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