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Pak Army institutes inquiry against ex-ISI chief; govt puts him in ‘no-fly list’

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Islamabad, May 28: Pakistan’s powerful spy agency ISI’s former chief  Lt Gen (retd.) Asad Durrani has been banned from leaving the country and will face a Court of Inquiry over a controversial book he recently co-authored with India’s former intelligence head.

Durrani, who headed the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency from August 1990 till March 1992, along with former RAW chief A S Dulat has recently published the book titled ‘The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace’ in India.

He was summoned to the General Headquarters (GHQ) today to explain his position on the book ‘Spy Chronicles’, said a statement issued today by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) – the Pakistan military’s media wing.

“A formal Court of Inquiry headed by a serving Lieutenant General has been ordered to probe the matter in detail,” the statement said.

It also said that “competent authority has been approached to place the name of Lt Gen (retd) Durrani on Exit Control List (ECL).

Those persons on the ECL are prohibited from leaving Pakistan.

Durrani has expressed dismay at his “own people” after facing severe backlash over his recent book that landed him in controversy. He was also targeted by some retired senior army officers on different TV talk shows.

In the book, the two former spy chiefs have touched upon some thorny issues including terrorism, particularly Mumbai attack, Kashmir and the influence of intelligence agencies.

Durrani’s controversial book could spotlight Pak Army’s role: Experts

Islamabad, May 28: Pakistani defence experts believe that there could be greater scrutiny on the role of the powerful Pakistan Army after the revelations by former ISI chief Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani in a controversial book co-authored by him opened a “Pandora’s Box”, pressing it to keep its own house in order.

According to the ‘Express Tribune’ newspaper, the defence experts also said the new book has benefitted the beleaguered former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif to a great extent as he has been facing severe criticism for his comment on the 2008 Mumbai terror attack in a newspaper interview.

Brigadier (retd) Said Nazir Mohmand told the paper that the ousted premier Sharif seems to be the beneficiary as the former ISI chief has directly talked about the issues, considered sensitive.

“Indian spy agency RAW and ISI have been fighting against each other since long and now ISI’s former boss talks about some controversial matters. Now the criticism will be diverted to Pakistan Army, pressing it to keep its own house in order,” Nazir said.

The release of the book has sparked accusations of treachery against the former spy chief after his views on various matters of regional and global concern came under intense public scrutiny, the ‘Dawn’ newspaper reported.

Nazir said Durrani unveiled some top events in Pakistan which were highly classified.

“The former RAW chief (Amarjit Singh Dulat) has been very guarded while Durrani has been extrovert as such topics have opened a Pandora’s Box,” Nazir commented.

Another defence analyst Khalid Muhammad told the ‘Express Tribune’ that looking at former ISI Director General’s collaborative book with the former RAW chief Dulat “it is hard not to consider the timing and the content.”

“While the book is formulated as a discussion between two former intelligence chiefs, we have to understand with the current climate against Pakistan, this book is a landmine.”

“With the elections on horizon, Durrani’s statements paint a very negative image of the Pakistan Army and the ISI in relation to events that happened in the past and continue to affect Pakistan’s domestic and regional policy,” he said.

Muhammad said the book will add more weight to Sharif’s argument of an “over-active” army in Pakistan.

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