Islamabad, March 4 : The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has ordered to remove the name of the former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt. General (retired) Asad Durrani from the country’s Exit Control List (ECL).
The court issued its verdict, stating that Durrani enjoys the same rights as any other citizen of the country, adding that Durrani’s name is not part of any ongoing inquiry.
The former ISI chief landed in hot water after he co-authored a book titled “The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the illusion of Peace” with Indian former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief Amarjit Singh Dulat in 2018.
Attorney General of Pakistan Tariq Khokhar had maintained that Durrani’s name has been put on the country’s no-fly list because of an inquiry underway regarding the recent book that he co-authored with the former Indian RAW chief.
However, Justice Minallah said, “according to the record, there is no ongoing inquiry against the ex-ISI chief”.
The petitioner is a three-star retired general and served as the former DG ISI. He is now a commoner and enjoys all the rights that he is entitled to under the Constitution”, the court noted.
“The federal government doesn’t have the powers to put anyone’s name in the ECL”, the judge said.
Durrani’s name was put on the ECL on the recommendations of the Military Intelligence Directorate, after his book was published.
Later in 2018, Durrani’s name was put on the ECL by the federal ministry, notifying that his name was part of an ongoing inquiry, thus he could not leave the country.
The ministry’s notification came a day after the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) stated that Durrani would be undergoing in inquiry, where he would be probed by a Court of Inquiry and will be asked about his views attributed to him in his book.
Durrani later filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), maintaining that the federal government has falsely put his name on the ECL, asserting that he has not committed any crime by co-authoring a book, as he is a retired officer.
Durrani has maintained that the accusations levelled against him do not have any ground of justification against him and is based on concocted reasoning.