Islamabad - The Pakistan Army on Monday ordered a court of inquiry against former ISI chief Lt-Gen (r) Asad Durrani over a recently launched book he has co-authored with former Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) chief Amarjit Singh Dulat and Indian journalist Aditya Sinha.

The former head of Inter-Services Intelligence was summoned at the General Headquarters (GHQ) Rawalpindi on Monday to explain his position on the controversial and highly spicy book “The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace”.

But, according to sources, Durrani could not give a plausible explanation, prompting the military authorities to launch a court of inquiry against him.

Shortly afterwards, Inter-Services Public Relations Director-General Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor said in a statement that a formal court of inquiry headed by a serving lieutenant general has been ordered to probe the matter in detail.

Military sources confided to The Nation that the court of inquiry would undertake the probe under 1923 Official Secret Act.

The former ISI chief, if proved guilty, could be awarded death sentence or life imprisonment.

He said that competent authority was also approached to place Asad Durrani's name on the exit control list (ECL).

Pakistan Army took strong exception to the book, which was released on Wednesday, saying that attributions made in it violated the military code of conduct.

On May 25, Maj-Gen Ghafoor tweeted that “Lt-Gen Asad Durrani, retired has been called in GHQ on May 28”.

He had said that the former ISI chief will be asked to explain his position on views attributed to him in the ‘Spy Chronicles’.

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 the media in Islamabad, Sharif called for an emergency meeting of the National Security Committee to discuss the content of the book.

Separately, Rabbani also questioned the teaming up of the former ISI chief and India’s spy agencies to write the book.

"It is shocking that on the 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 said.

The GHQ has expressed serious reservations over some of the comments made in the book, terming it baseless and contrary to facts.

In the book, the former ISI chief is alleged to have made certain observations, including a claim that former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was fully on board regarding the US Navy Seals operation against Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad and that a special deal was struck between the US and the Pakistani government in this regard.

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

Lt-Gen (r) Durrani on Friday defended his decision to pen the book. Speaking to a local English daily, he said that the book was merely an exercise involving two persons with extensive experience in Pakistan-India affairs coming together to record their perspectives.

Responding to Sharif’s call for a meeting of the NSC over the book and Rabbani’s grave reservations over its publication, he said any individual civilian or military man had the right to record their memories.

Durrani said those rapping The Spy Chronicles were yet to peruse it. “They are drawing conclusions from flawed news items,” he said and added that attention should be devoted to the contents of the book.

 

Army orders court of inquiry against ex-ISI chief

 

Maqbool Malik