The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday ordered the elimination of previous Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) supervisor basic retired Lt Gen Asad Durrani’s name from the Departure Control List (ECL), saying there was “no basis” for it.
IHC Principal Justice Athar Minallah was listening to a petition filed by Durrani seeking elimination of his name from the ECL. Extra Attorney General Of The United States Tariq Khokhar, that was not present at the start of the hearing, was asked by the judge to show up in the court.
At the same time, the judge asked Deputy Attorney general of the United States Syed Tayyab Shah whether the former principal’s name had been put on the ECL because a query had actually been underway versus him.
Chief Justice Minallah went on to observe that the court had “taken a look at all records”, according to which there was no query underway versus Durrani when his name was placed on the ECL in 2018.
” Like all citizens, this retired three-star general likewise has legal rights,” he included.
Retired Lt Gen Durrani located himself in hot water after co-authoring a book, labelled The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and also the Illusion of Tranquility, with Amarjit Singh Dulat, the former head of India’s Study and Evaluation Wing spy firm, in 2018.
After the book’s magazine, the Military Knowledge (MI) had actually written to the interior ministry to place Durrani’s name on the ECL and the very same was carried out in May 2018. The previous spymaster challenged the move in the IHC in 2019.
During today’s hearing, the IHC principal justice asked the deputy attorney general to “provide the court grounds otherwise there is no basis for keeping [Durrani’s name] on the ECL”.
When Added Attorney General Khokhar appeared before the court, Chief Justice Minallah once again asked whether Durrani’s name was put on the ECL because of a questions against him.
” According to the record, there was no questions underway at the time,” he explained.
” The petitioner is a retired three-star general and also has likewise stayed the ISI director. And now he is an usual resident and also it is his right to stir with freedom.”
Justice Minallah examined whether the federal government had “free rein to put any person’s [name] on the ECL”.
AAG Khokhar asked the court to issue a notification to the Ministry of Protection for a response, to which the IHC chief justice responded that there was “no demand to call anyone”.
“According to the record, there is no fresh inquiry against Asad Durrani. There is no factor for keeping his name on the ECL,” Justice Minallah claimed.
The court then got that the previous ISI chief’s name be removed from the listing.
Last month, IHC Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani had recused himself from listening to the request.
The judge did not offer a reason for his decision, claiming he had actually taken it as a result of “reasons I do not intend to share”.
In his petition, Gen Durrani had claimed that the government had actually placed his name on the ECL in connection with a questions related to a book he co-authored. The questions has since been concluded and he had also been penalized as necessary; nevertheless, his name was still on the ECL.
Last month, the Ministry of Defence had actually opposed Durrani’s demand seeking elimination of his name from the no-fly checklist, stating he had actually been “engaging with aggressive elements” including Indian intelligence firm RAW since 2008 and was likely to be involved in future magazines versus the rate of interests of Pakistan.
In its para-wise remarks sent in action to Durrani’s request in the IHC, the defence ministry stated the former ISI principal’s name was placed on the ECL for “his participation in anti-state activities”.