Pakistan Army summons former ISI chief over claims in new book

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New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) The Pakistan Army has summoned former ISI chief Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani (retd) to explain his his position on views attributed to him in a book of dialogues with former Indian intelligence chief A.S. Dulat, accusing him of violating the “Military Code of Conduct”.

Durrani, who was ISI’s Director General between 1990 and 1991, has been summoned to General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi on May 28.

He will be asked to explain his position on views attributed to him in the book “Spy Chronicles”, Pakistan Army spokesperson Maj. Gen Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet.

“Attribution (is being) taken as (a) violation of Military Code of Conduct applicable on all serving and retired military personnel,” he added.

Durrani and former Secretary of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), A.S. Dulat have participated in a book of dialogues, moderated by journalist Aditya Sinha.

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“Spy Chronicles,” throws light on the perspectives, assumptions and observations of the two spymasters on Kashmir; Hafiz Saeed and 26/11; Kulbhushan Jadhav; surgical strikes; the deal for Osama bin Laden; how the US and Russia feature in the India-Pakistan relationship; and how terror undermines the two countries’ attempts at talks.

In the book Durrani makes an assessment that “the ISI probably learnt about” Osama bin Laden and “he was handed over to the US according to a mutually agreed process”. Dulat maintains that the assessment from the Indian side “is the same. That he was handed over by Pakistan”.

However, when Dulat asks him about the deal, Durrani clarifies: “This was only my assessment”.

On the issue of Kulbhushan Jadhav, Dulat says that if he was “really a RAW spy, then it’s a pretty sloppy operation.”

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Durrani on the other hand believes that the revelation about Jadhav must have been done to counter the Indian threat after the January 2, 2016 attack on the Pathankot air base.

“What was the threat,” asks Dulat.

“That India is looking for links between Pathankot and our establishment. So we came up with a counter-argument that we know you’ve been doing this (in Balochistan).”

However, both of them maintain that India and Pakistan should have been discreet about the matter, ensuring the exchange of spies in each other’s custody.

Military sources said that the army’s General Headquarters had serious reservations over some of the comments in the book, terming them baseless and contrary to facts. Reports suggested that Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif had demanded an immediate meeting of National Security Committee (NSC) to discuss the contents of the book.

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Several other politicians in Pakistan, including former Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan Raza Rabbani, have expressed their concerns over the book.

Dulat and Durrani met in cities like Istanbul, Bangkok and Kathmandu and their meetings produced a total of over 1.7 lakh words, about half of which find mention into the book.

The book was released jointly by former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Vice President Hamid Ansari, former Union minister Yashwant Sinha and other important figures from the political sphere here on Wednesday.

Durrani, in a video message, had said that he was “denied” the visa by the “Indian deep state”.

–IANS

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