Lt Gen(retired) Asad Durrani has not only violated basic norms of military conduct but, most likely, played to Indian tune through a tongue in cheeks narrative; subtly manufactured to target Pakistan Military and its intelligence agencies.
The book recently launched in India had some big wigs of Indian establishment including Ex PM Manmohan Singh, Ex Vice President Hamid Ansari, Farooq Abdullah from Occupied Kashmir, Yashwant Sinha and ex RAW Chief A S Dulat. Asad Durrani was not allowed to join the launching of the book in New Delhi, however he dramatized it through his video message, “at the end,special thanks to the Indian deep state. By denying me the visa, they saved me from the wrath of our hawks. They will be happy to know that I have not yet been cleared by the South Block”. My little thought for Asad Durrani sahib, the Indian Deep state has taken out what they wanted; you are no more very useful for South Block.
I have tried to conduct a quick review of the book and found that Asad Durrani not only played to the galley of South Block and international backers of this book but also remained highly one sided in towing the Indian narrative. If it was a reciprocal arrangement with ex RAW Chief Mr Dulat to expose Indian Military and RAW as well, then Gen Durrani failed miserably as Mr A S Dulat did not expose Indian deep state (RAW); especially on any sensitive issues.
The book was compiled by an Indian author Mr Aditya Sinha and is recording of an interview or dialogue between both spooks, moderated by the compiler.
It appears to be a deliberate attack of Hostile Intelligence Agencies on Pakistan Army in general and ISI in particular, through the time tested warfare model of hybrid war. The launch of book at the time when leadership of one political party is talking of ‘Khalai Makhlooq’ and their statements regarding Mumbai attacks have already raised a storm in Pakistan and the region is significant. The timing of this breach is a deliberate Indian and western effort to defame the armed forces and their success in Raddul Fassad.
As stated by Professor Hasan Askari, normally in such disclosures the authors touch old and settled issues, Lt General(retired) Asad Durrani on his part dealt with on-going issues and investigations as if he knew in and out of these issues, this is unheard of in any intelligence agency or diplomatic circle. The launching of book in India and its attendance by big wigs also displays that India was confident that her national interests were well guarded by Mr Dulat, on the contrary for Pakistan Asad Durrani brought embarrassment and controversy. India can claim, look we stand with our spook, whereas Pakistani spook is summoned by the military. The narrative is familiar and gives lot of ammunition to liberals, political parties biased against Army as well as sub nationalists who draw support from Afghanistan and India to surround Pakistan Army and ISI as the narrative from an ex ISI Chief gives it further credibility
Unfortunately the book is launched on the eve of take-over of interim government, when the state of Pakistan goes into election mode, is it an effort develop doubts about forthcoming general elections and the role of Army to provide security for fair and free elections?
Asad Durrani did not even realise that FATF sword is hanging on Pakistan’s neck and the organisation is going to take some tough decisions in June this year, has Durrani helped enemies of Pakistan to put her at the mat in June? In the long run such allegations raised by insiders can be used as evidence for undermining Pakistan’s diplomatic space in international arena and may pave way for intervention in Pakistan as Pakistan Army could be labelled as a rogue Army.
Asad Durrani’s political inclination towards a political party is a well-known fact, he has himself acknowledged in Asghar Khan case that he doled out funds to support a particular political party to defeat Benazir Bhutto. Under the current political turmoil, no wonder we have such a book at this time to sow doubts and create wedge between Pakistani People and the military. From day one the book is available in soft copy for free and made viral on WhatsApp. That makes it clear that selling the book is not the aim and it has propaganda value.
Although the Pakistan Army would take its own decision in dealing with Asad Durrani , it is suggested that Army should not restrict itself to calling an explanation from him. It should be done under violation of Official Secret Act 1923 as well as other constitutional provisions and a proper inquiry be held confronting Adad Durrani with following questions:
Who allowed him to leak national secrets about issues that he was never part of in any capacity? What are his sources on his version of OBL raid, Kulbhushan, and even Kargil as he retired in early nineties? Why he failed in drawing AS Dulat in disclosing even a single sensitive secret of RAW. He talked of Akhand Bharat and Confederation of South Asia, which is an Indian narrative, has Asad Durrani more acumen than our founders like Quaid and Dr Iqbal, how has he targeted the very foundation of Pakistan and on whose behest? Why did he acknowledge that Hurriat Conference (which is an indigenous freedom fighting forum in Occupied Kashmir) was raised by Pakistan? Did Dulat confess to all black ops conducted by RAW in Pakistan? Why Dualt failed to even acknowledge that India has always tried to undo Pakistan and that Kulbhushan enterprise was orchestrated and launched in Pakistan by RAW to seriously destabilise Pakistan?
Didn’t Durrani know about sensitivities of the current strategic environment surrounding Pakistan and the fact that his book will provide more fuel to fire being inflamed in Pakistan? What are Asad Durrani’s business interests in India and how come his son who worked in Germany landed up in India for a job?
The Army has to come up with a hard and clear stance on compromising of national secrets by retired military officers, some of who play in the hands of hostile intelligence agencies for cheap popularity and so called international clout. Finally, Asad Durrani should have a heart and spare this hapless nation from his shenanigans conceived by someone else.
The writer is a freelance journalist.