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May 26, 2018

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‘Had civilian written such a book, would’ve faced treason charges’


ISLAMABAD: Senate's former chairman Raza Rabbani on Friday reacted sharply to the co-authoring of a book by former ISI chief Lt General (retd) Asad Durrani and ex-head of RAW AJ Dulat.

Speaking on a point of public importance in the House, Rabbani contended if a Pakistani civilian or a politician had dared to co-author such a book with any of his Indian counterpart or an ordinary citizen, decrees of a traitor would have been issued.

Not only, he continued, decrees of traitor had been issued, but also an unending saga of protests could have started across Pakistan against him. Rabbani regretted, “The politician would not have only been labeled a traitor and also a never ending protest demonstrations against him across the country would have been launched.”

He continued it was quite surprising that while on one hand, the relations between the two countries were at the lowest ebb, while on the other, such a book was launched, which was written by two former spymasters of Pakistan and India.

Rabbani questioned whether the former ISI chief had taken permission from the federal government or his own institution, the military, that he was going to co-author a book with his Indian counterpart.

“If the former ISI chief did not feel it necessary at all to take permission from federal government or the military, he had never bothered to inform them prior to going for such a venture,” he again questioned.

Rabbani maintained that it was not a simple issue, keeping in view the history of bad relations between Pakistan and India. This prompted Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani to say that it is a very sensitive issue as relations between the two countries are at bad. He then asked Minister for Law and Justice Mehmood Bashir Virk to shed light on the controversy but he said he knew nothing about it.

To this, Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani sought a reply from the Ministry of Defence with regard to the questions raised by Rabbani. 'The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace', one of the most unusual books, has recently been released in India, in which an Indian spook and a Pakistani spy decided to team up, leaving the civilian leadership of the country astonished as they could not dare taking such a bold step with any Indian.

Speaking on a point of public importance, Leader of Opposition Senator Sherry Rehman raised the issue of construction of Kashanganga power plant and said that through this, India could change the flow of River Neelum.

She pointed out that the power plant was not only a violation of the river ambit but also have its negative impact on surface of water in Pakistan. Senator Sherry wanted the government to pay attention to this matter of grave public importance and security.

Senator Sherry maintained that the Indus Basin Treaty allows Pakistan to have control over three rivers: the Indus, Jehlum and Chenab rivers. She added that there was widespread concern over this crisis-like situation.

The World Bank, she emphasised, should also play its role in this connection and urged the chair to direct the government to brief the House regarding the measures being taken to address this alarming situation, arising out of the Indian power plant construction.

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