Islamabad, Oct 1 (PTI) Former chief of Pakistan’s spy agency, ISI, Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani, who had co-authored a book with his Indian counterpart, moved the high court on Monday seeking revocation of a travel ban on him by the government, according to a media report.
The government had placed Durrani’s name in the Exit Control List (ECL) in May, a day after he appeared before the Pakistan Army officials at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi to explain about his stance pertaining to “The Spy Chronicles”, a book written jointly by him and former chief of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) A S Daulat.
In the book, the two former spy chiefs have touched upon some thorny issues including terrorism, particularly the Mumbai attack, the surgical strikes, Kulbhushan Jadhav, Kashmir and the influence of intelligence agencies. Durrani had revealed that track-II diplomacy was in place since long aimed at averting war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
Durrani, in his petition, said his only intention to travel was to pursue his professional commitments and visit his children living abroad, The Express Tribune reported.
A person placed under the ECL cannot travel abroad.
He also said that he and his wife do not hold a nationality of any other country.
The former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief said that he moved the petition after he did not get any response on his request, made on September 5, to remove his name from ECL on account of professional commitments by the adjutant general of Pakistan Army.
He had also requested the Pakistan government on September 13 to review its decision but it also failed to respond, the report said quoting his counsel.
The counsel maintained that Durrani retired from the Army over 25 years ago and is not subject to the provisions of the Pakistan Army Act, 1952.
“Therefore, any inquiry initiated against him has been done without jurisdiction and is illegal,” the report said, adding that Durrani has the right to enter a lawful profession and earn a living as guaranteed by the Constitution.
Durrani’s counsel also said that the petitioner retired from the Pakistan Army in 1993 as a three-star general and since then he has served as the country’s ambassador to Germany and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The former spy chief’s counsel further added that Durrani has numerously spoken, defended and represented the country’s position on matters of national and international importance and he has been invited to the Herat Security Dialogue to be held on October 26 and 27 in Herat, Afghanistan.
According to the petition, respondents in the case are the Pakistan government through the interior secretary, defence secretary and Qalandar Khan, the section officer of the Ministry of Interior.
The ECL order stated that Durrani’s name was on the list due to an on-going inquiry.
However, on May 29, Durrani said his name was placed on the ECL without any notice.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.