The name of a former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, retired Lt Gen Asad Durrani — who recently co-authored a book with former Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) chief Amarjit Singh Dulat — will be placed on the no-fly list, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) announced on Monday.
The statement followed Durrani's summoning to General Headquarters (GHQ) on Monday to "explain his position on views attributed to him" in the book, titled The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace.
The release of the book has sparked accusations of treachery against the former spy chief after his candid views on various matters of regional and global concern came under intense public scrutiny.
"The competent authority [has been] approached to place his [Durrani] name on the Exit Control List," army spokesperson Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor announced on Monday via Twitter.
He added that "a formal Court of Inquiry headed by a serving Lt Gen has been ordered to probe the matter in detail".
So far, no details have been shared about which statements attributed to Durrani in the book are considered a violation of the code of conduct.
The book is mainly a series of discussions conducted between the two former adversaries on a range of topics, moderated by journalist Aditya Sinha.
The paperback has served as an ice-breaker of sorts between the two warring neighbours while also spurring criticism of Indian state repression in held Kashmir.
The two former spies have in the book touched upon some thorny issues which have kept Pakistan-India ties strained for decades and at times pushing them to the brink of war. The issues include terrorism — particularly the Mumbai attack — Kashmir and the influence of intelligence agencies.
Earlier, Durrani had said that the book was Dulat’s idea but at no time was it considered as an occasion to spill any secrets.
It is worth noting that this is not the first time instance of Durrani co-authoring something with Dulat.
In 2013, the two published a joint paper on Pakistan-India relations in the context of Kashmir titled Kashmir: Confrontation to Cooperation.
Durrani notes in The Spy Chronicles that the paper had not received any adverse reaction from the military establishment, even though it also dealt with some contentious themes.
Under fire for divulging 'serious information'
However, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had drawn a parallel between his own recent statement on the Mumbai attack case and the contents of the said book. He had also called for the National Security Council (NSC) to re-convene on the matter as it had in his [Sharif's] case.
Nawaz believes that the former DG ISI, through this book, has made public some "serious information" and that it was necessary to call an emergency NSC meeting to discuss the matter.
In a similar vein, Senator Raza Rabbani, while addressing the upper house last week, had remarked that if a politician had teamed up with an Indian counterpart to write a book like this, they would have been branded a traitor.
“It is shocking that on one hand Pakistan and India relations are at an all-time low and on the other hand, former spy chiefs of both the countries are teaming up to write a book,” the former Senate chairman was quoted as saying.