IHC seeks details of inquiry report on book by ex-chiefs of ISI, RAW

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) directed the Ministry of Defence to share the relevant portions of the inquiry report on a controversial book, The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace, that was co-authored by the former director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), retired Lt Gen Asad Durrani, and Amarjit Singh Dulat, former chief of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani of the IHC resumed hearing of the petition filed by Mr Durrani seeking removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL).

During the earlier hearing in October last year, a representative of the interior ministry, Mohammad Nadeem Akhtar, submitted a report before the court, saying the former ISI chief’s name had been put on the ECL for writing the controversial book. The defence ministry informed the court that an inquiry against Mr Durrani was in progress. The Pakistan Army on May 28 set up a ‘court of inquiry’ to investigate Mr Durrani’s ‘joint venture’ with Mr Dulat.

The Inter-Services Public Relations director general had said: “A formal court of inq­uiry headed by a serving lieutenant general has been ordered to probe the matter in det­ail. Competent authority has been appro­ach­ed to place the name of Lieutenant General Asad Durrani (retd) on Exit Control List (ECL).”

Justice Kayani directed the defence ministry to inform the court whether or not the ministry would take any action against the petitioner.

In case, the SC judge said, the ministry was planning to take any action against Mr Durrani then the relevant portions of the inquiry report should be produced before the court in a sealed envelope.

The court adjourned further hearing on the petition till Feb 21.

In his petition, Mr Durrani has said that he wants to travel abroad in connection with his professional commitment and to meet his children living abroad, but his name has been put on the ECL. He requested the court to issue directives for removal of his name from the travel ban list.

The federal government on May 29 put the name of Mr Durrani on the ECL following the Pakistan Army’s request to impose a travel ban on him. The decision was taken after Mr Durrani visited the General Headquarters on May 28 to clarify his stance on the book.