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‘Reasons I don’t want to state out loud’: Judge recuses from former spymaster Durrani’s case

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Lt Gen (r) Asad Durrani. The News/via Geo.tv/Files

ISLAMABAD: A judge of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday recused himself from further hearings in former spymaster Mohammad Asad Durrani's case over the latter's name in the Exit Control List (ECL).

The former director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt Gen (r) Asad Durrani, had petitioned for his name to be removed from the ECL after the Ministry of Defence recommended it be maintained in the no-fly list.

However, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, who was hearing the case, has excused himself from future hearings over "reasons I don't want to state out loud".

"I know the whole background of the case and I was at the stage of penning down my the decision [on the case]," the judge remarked.

Justice Kayani explained that although it was "a pity" for him to step down from hearing the case, "there are some reasons I don't want to state out loud".

He further remarked that he was sending it to IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, who will decide on a new bench to hear the case.

The defense ministry had included the name of Durrani, a forcibly discharged top officer, in the ECL after he co-authored The Spy Chronicles with former chief of India’s spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), A.S. Dulat.

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Earlier, the defense ministry through its response had opposed the removal of Lt Gen (r) Durrani's name from the ECL, telling the court it had evidence suggesting that the former spymaster remained in contact with India's RAW.

The defence ministry also said it had evidence indicating Durrani remained in contact with anti-state elements from other countries since 2008.

Durrani had been summoned to Pakistan Army's General Headquarters (GHQ) in May 2018, where he was asked to explain his position on views attributed to him in the book, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had confirmed in a statement last year.

Durrani has been found guilty of violating the military code of conduct after he co-authored the book, the ISPR had said in 2019, adding that "his pension and other benefits have been stopped”.


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