IHC orders removal of Asad Durrani's name from ECL

Justice Athar Minallah says the ex ISI chief has the same rights as any other citizen of the country


Our Correspondent March 04, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

 

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has ordered the removal of the name of former Inter-Services Intelligence chief Lieutenant General (retd) Asad Durrani from the Exit Control List, observing that there is no inquiry pending against him.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the petition filed by Durrani against placing his name on the ECL.

The former spy chief’s name had been put on the no-fly list in 2018 after he co-authored a book titled ‘The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace’ with India’s former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief Amarjit Singh Dulat the same year.

The publication of the book prompted the Military Intelligence to write a letter to the interior ministry, asking it to place Durrani’s name on the ECL until the completion of an ongoing inquiry against him. Durrani had challenged the move in the IHC in 2019, seeking permission to travel abroad.

Also read: The Spy Chronicles: Defence ministry raises objection on removal of Durani's name from ECL

During Thursday’s proceedings, the chief justice said that Durrani's name was placed on the ECL due to an inquiry pending against him in line with writing a controversial book.

The court noted that currently there was neither any inquiry pending against Durrani nor any other grounds existed to keep his name on the ECL.

“Like every common citizen, the petitioner also has basic rights under the Constitution,” the chief justice remarked.

Additional Attorney General Tariq Khokhar prayed the court to serve a notice to the Ministry of Defence and seek its reply in that regard.

To this, the chief justice said there was no need of it, adding that according to the record, there was no inquiry pending against Durrani.

After the conclusion of arguments from both the sides, the court ordered the federal government to delete the name of Asad Durrani from the ECL.

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