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Pakistan military summons ex-spy chief over book controversy


Islamabad (AFP)

Pakistan's army has summoned the ex-head of the intelligence agency, accusing him of violating the military code of conduct over a book he co-authored with the former spy chief of arch rival India.

Retired Lieutenant General Asad Durrani, who headed Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) from 1990 to 1992, also came under fire from former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for allegedly disclosing national secrets in the book.

In a surprise move, Durrani co-authored "The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of peace" with A.S. Dulat, the ex-chief of India's Research and Analysis Wing intelligence agency.

The book is based on a series of discussion between Durrani and Dulat with Indian journalist Aditya Sinha on various topics including Afghanistan, Kashmir and the tense relations between Pakistan and India.

Military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said Durrani had been called to the general headquarters on May 28 -- and "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," the spokesman added.

Durrani was summoned after Sharif Friday criticised him for disclosing secrets in the book.

Sharif apparently tried to draw a parallel between Durrani's revelations and his own statement suggesting Pakistani militants were behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which sparked a firestorm at home and in India and was later slammed by Pakistan's National Security Council.

The former prime minister had approached what is seen as a red line by touching on criticism of Pakistan's powerful armed forces, especially their alleged use of proxies in India, in his interview with Dawn newspaper published last week.

"Militant organisations are active. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can't we complete the trial?" Sharif told Pakistan's leading English daily, referring to stalled court cases against several suspects.

The Mumbai attacks left 166 people dead and brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war.

Media reports said Durrani had admitted Pakistan's role in the unrest in Indian-administered Kashmir in the book.

Sharif had called for the National Security Council to convene over Durrani's views in the book and accused the general of disclosing classified information.

Sharif was ousted from the premiership by the Supreme Court last July but his party remains in power.

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