High Court in Pakistan orders removal of former ISI chief Asad Durrani’s name from no-fly list
In a major blow to Pakistan, the Islamabad High Court on Thursday ordered the removal of former Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen (retired) Asad Durrani’s name from the no-fly list.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Durrani seeking removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL).
Chief Justice Athar Minallah said that the court had “examined all records”, according to which there was no inquiry underway against Durrani when his name was placed on the ECL in 2018.
“Like all citizens, this retired three-star general also has rights,” he added.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s defence ministry is against efforts by Durrani to get his name removed from a no-fly list. It had claimed that Durrani had been interacting with India’s external intelligence agency — RAW [Research and Analysis Wing] — since 2008.
“The book contained certain contents concerning the National Security of Pakistan and it was a violation of the Official Secret Act,” claimed the ministry.
It said that “there are a number of publications on way, supported by hostile elements, which contain content to create misperception, confusion, question marks against the top leadership circles of country level and to target the common people” adding that the situation necessitates that the petitioner’s name should be contained in the ECL.
Durrani’s name was placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) for co-authoring a book, ‘The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace’, with former chief of the Indian spy agency Amarjit Singh Dulat after Pakistan’s Military Intelligence (MI) wrote to the interior ministry in this regard in 2018.
On May 28, 2018, the military’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) informed the general public through its Twitter account: “Lt Gen Asad Durrani, Retired was called at GHQ to explain his position on the recently launched book ‘Spy Chronicles’. A formal Court of Inquiry headed by a serving Lt Gen has been ordered to probe the matter in detail. Competent authority approached to place his name on ECL.”