Tue, 09 Mar 2021

Islamabad [Pakistan], January 28 (ANI): Pakistan's defence ministry has opposed efforts by former ISI Chief's Lt Gen (retired) Asad Durrani's efforts to get his name removed from a no-fly list. It has claimed that Durrani had been interacting with India's external intelligence agency -- RAW [Research and Analysis Wing] -- since 2008, according to a media report on Wednesday.

According to Dawn, Durrani's name was placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) for co-authoring a book, 'The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace', with former chief of the Indian spy agency Amarjit Singh Dulat after Pakistan's Military Intelligence (MI) wrote to the interior ministry in this regard in 2018.

On May 28, 2018, the military's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) informed the general public through its Twitter account: "Lt Gen Asad Durrani, Retired was called at GHQ today to explain his position on the 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.""A court of inquiry under the provision of Pakistan Army Act Rule 157 was convened to ascertain facts about the contents of the book and the circumstances under which the book was co-authored. Consequently, petitioner's name was placed on the ECL vide memorandum dated May 29, 2018," the Ministry of Defence stated in its report filed before the court.

The ministry added that the 'competent military authority' has taken cognisance of the contents of the book after thorough deliberation and on the recommendation of the inquiry, according to Dawn.

The book contained certain contents concerning the National Security of Pakistan and it was a violation of the Official Secret Act, claimed the ministry.

It said that "there are a number of publications on way, supported by hostile elements which contain content to create misperception, confusion, question marks against the top leadership circles of country level and to target the common people" adding that the situation necessitates that the petitioner's name should be contained in the ECL.

"It is further added that the petitioner [Gen Durrani] is affiliated/interacting with hostile elements especially Indian RAW since 2008," the report claimed.

The report stated that Durrani with the military authorities in the General Headquarters in 2018 "rendered an affidavit committing to refrain from such activities, which is still not seen in tangible terms."Previously, the former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief said that Pakistan's basic threats were from internal challenges rather than India.

"India has not always been the biggest threat to us -- the biggest threat has been from Internal challenges," Durrani reportedly said in an interview in December last year further calling military interference in the country's political affairs as catastrophic.

Durrani's petition is expected to be heard again by the high court in February. (ANI)

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