Pakistan’s military Monday took the unprecedented step of preventing a former spy chief from leaving the country, after he ignited a storm by co-authoring a book that touches on Pakistan’s alleged roles in Afghanistan and Kashmir.
Retired Lt Gen Asad Durrani, who headed the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) from 1990 to 1992, was placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) stopping him from leaving the country, reports said.
Durrani has been mired in controversy since last week’s release of The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace. He wrote the book with A.S. Dulat, former chief of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), arch rival of the ISI.
It is based on a series of discussion between the two on various subjects including tense relations with India and Pakistan’s alleged interference through proxies in Afghanistan and Kashmir.
On Monday, Durrani was summoned to the Pakistani military headquarters for allegedly violating the institution’s code of conduct over comments he made in the book. Pakistan army chief spokesman Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor said that a formal court of inquiry headed by a serving lieutenant general was ordered to launch a probe into the controversial book of Durrani.
“Lt Gen Asad Durrani, Retired was called at GHQ today to explain his position on recently launched book ‘Spy Chronicles’. A formal Court of Inquiry headed by a serving Lt Gen has been ordered to probe the matter in detail. Competent authority approached to place his name on ECL,” Asif Ghafoor tweeted.
It’s the first instance such controls have been placed on a former spy chief.
The book had sparked a controversy in Pakistan, drawing angry reactions from former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani.
Speaking to media persons in Islamabad, Sharif called for an emergency meeting of the National Security Committee to discuss the content of the book.
Separately, Raza Rabbani also questioned the teaming up of former chiefs of Pakistan and India’s spy agencies to write the book. “It is shocking that on one hand Pakistan and India relations are at an all-time low and on the other hand, former spy chiefs of both the countries are teaming up to write a book,” Rabbani maintained.—Agencies