Bajwa summons ex-ISI chief for book on spy past

The Asian Age.  | Sanjib Kr Baruah

India, All India

RAW is India’s external intelligence agency while ISI is Pakistan’s spy agency.

Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa (Photo: File)

New Delhi: Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa has summoned former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) head Maj. Gen. (Retd) Asad Durrani after he published a controversial book with his Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) ex-counterpart A.S. Dulat.

Talking to this newspaper, Mr Dulat termed this “nothing but harassment of an old man” and “a routine way” of getting someone to come to the Pak Army HQ to talk.

“This is nothing but the harassment of an old man. He (Durrani) hasn’t said anything more in the book that he didn’t say earlier,” Mr Dulat said. Mr Durrani has co-authored The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace along with Dulat.

RAW is India’s external intelligence agency while ISI is Pakistan’s spy agency.

Pakistani Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted that Mr Durrani was being called to the General Headquarters on Monday: “Will be asked to explain his position on views attributed to him in book Spy Chronicles. Attribution taken as violation of Military Code of Conduct applicable on all serving and retired military personnel,” Maj Gen Ghafoor had tweeted.

Incidentally, General Musharraf too had penned his autobiography In the Line of Fire: A Memoir in 2006 which did not attract any summons from the Pakistan military.

Mr Dulat said: “On the Osama bin Laden operation, he (Durrani) had spoken in a BBC interview. What he has written on the Kargil war against India is what he had already said in the past.”

“But the General knows how to take care of himself,” the former RAW chief said expressing confidence on Durrani’s ability to take an honest stand.

Asked about the incident where RAW apparently saved the life of the then Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf’s life by tipping the ISI of a team of 3-4 militants of the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) who were out to assassinate Musharraf, Mr Dulat said: “The incident took place in 2002-03 when information came about a JeM team plotting attack on Musharraf.

Accordingly, RAW passed on the information to ISI which then took the necessary precautionary steps. Later, Musharraf asked the ISI to pass on his personal thanks to RAW”.

“Later on, we came to know that these would-be assassins were caught and hanged,” Mr Dulat added. After retiring from the Army, the India-born Musharraf became Pakistan’s tenth President from 2001 to 2008.