Asad Durrani

Lieutenant General Asad Ahmed Durrani (Urdu: اسد أحمد‎ درانی; born 7 February 1941) is a retired 3-star rank general in the Pakistan Army and presently a commentator, speaker and author.[2] Durrani previously served as the director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence and former director-general of the Pakistan Army's Military Intelligence.

Asad Ahmed Durrani
Birth nameAsad Ahmed Durrani
Nickname(s)Fire Fox
Born (1941-02-07) February 7, 1941 (age 81)
Rawalpindi, British India[1]
Allegiance Pakistan
Service/branch Pakistan Army
Years of service1959–1993
RankUS-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant-General
UnitMilitary Intelligence Corps
Commands heldInter-Services Intelligence (DG ISI)
Military Intelligence (DG MI)
Judge Advocate General Branch
Command and Staff College
National Defence University
350th Military Intelligence Brigade
Battles/warsIndo-Pakistani war of 1965
Bangladesh Liberation War
Indo-Pakistani war of 1971
Soviet–Afghan War
Operation Midnight Jackal
Hilal-i-Imtiaz (military)


Durrani was born in 1941 in Rawalpindi, British India (present-day Pakistan) into a Durrani Pashtun family. From 1957 to 1959, he attended the Government College, now a university, where he did his degree in Bachelor of Science. He joined the Pakistan Army in 1959.[3] and subsequently joined the Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul.[4] In 1960, he was commissioned as second lieutenant in the army as a gunner officer. As a captain he participated in the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965, where he commanded his company.[4] In 1968, he was promoted to major. He also took part in the 1971 war against India.[4]

Durrani has been in key posts, including an instructorship at the officers' academy and later at the Command and Staff College, Quetta, as Director General of Military Intelligence from 1988 to 1989;[5] Director General of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence[6] from 1990 to 1991, Inspector General Training and Evaluation at the General Headquarters and Commandant at the National Defence College.

Durrani is a graduate from the General Staff Academy, Germany. He has also been Pakistan's military attaché to Germany from 1980 to 1984. After retiring from the army, he was Pakistan's ambassador to Germany (1994–97) and Saudi Arabia (2000–02).[4][7]

In 1994, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accused Durrani and Mirza Aslam Beg of wanting to sell "heroin to pay for the country's covert military operations in early 1991."[8]

In 2008, Durrani acknowledged "distributing money to the alliance against Benazir Bhutto" in the 1993 Pakistani general election.[9]

In 2015, Durrani told the press it was “probable” the Pakistani government knew Osama bin Laden’s location and “the idea was that at the right time, his location would be revealed. And the right time would have been when you can get the necessary quid pro quo.”[10]

The Spy ChroniclesEdit

In 2018, he co-authored The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace with A. S. Dulat, former head of the Research and Analysis Wing.[11][12] He was supposed to attend the book release with Dulat in India, but the Indian government denied him a visa.[13] Subsequently, he received a summons to appear before General Headquarters over the book[14] and was placed on the Exit Control List.[15]

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif demanded that the National Security Committee (NSC) should discuss the book.[16] However, in October 2018, Asad Durrani's lawyer said they had not received any notice of an inquiry and sought the removal of Asad Durrani's name from the Exit Control List.[17]

Shazar Shafat, a security analyst, suggests two reasons in South Asian Voices (hosted by The Stimson Center) as to why Asad Durrani may be facing the backlash. The first is related to Durrani's comments on Akhand Bharat in the book and the second is in relation to comments on Kulbhushan Jadhav.[18][19] However, a report by CNN found that the book (as well as a pirated PDF version) was freely available in Pakistan and that the Pakistani governments "overreaction", according to Hassan Askari Rizvi and other defence analysts, may be because Durrani did not get prior permissions for such a book.[20][21]

On 22 February 2019, Asad Durrani was found guilty of violating Pakistan's Military Code of Conduct for co-writing the book.[22][23] Asad Durrani's pension and other allowances have been withdrawn and it is yet to be decided if he should be taken off the Exit Control List or not.[24][25]


  • Asad Durrani, The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace (with A. S. Dulat) (HarperCollins, 2018) ISBN 978-9352779253
  • Asad Durrani, Pakistan Adrift: Navigating Troubled Waters (Hurst, 2018) ISBN 978-1849049610
  • Asad Durrani, Honour Among Spies (Harper Collins, 2020) ISBN 9789353579814


  1. ^ Asad Durrani, The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace (with A. S. Dulat) (HarperCollins, 2018) ISBN 978-9352779253, page 14
  2. ^ Asad Durrani, Strategic decision making in Pakistan, Strategic Studies
  3. ^ Asad DURRANI, Center for Energy and Security Studies, 2018
  4. ^ a b c d "Lieutenant General Asad Durrani". Inter Services Intelligence. Inter Services Intelligence. Archived from the original on 18 March 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
  5. ^ Peter Tomsen, "The Wars of Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failures of Great Powers" ( Public Affairs, 2013)
  6. ^ Owen L. Sirrs, "Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate: Covert Action and Internal Operations" (Routledge, 2017)
  7. ^ "Pakistan Adrift | Hurst Publishers".
  8. ^ John Ward Anderson and Kamran Khan, HEROIN PLAN BY TOP PAKISTANIS ALLEGED, Washington Post, September 12, 1994
  9. ^ Omar Waraich, "Pakistan's Spies Elude Its Government Time, July 31, 2008
  10. ^ Retired general: 'Probable' Pakistan knew of Bin Laden's whereabouts, Politico, 02/10/2015
  11. ^ Muhammad Saleh Zaafir, Former ISI, RAW chiefs co-author book, The News, May 21, 2018
  12. ^ Former ISI Chief Expresses Dismay At "Own People" After Backlash On Book, NDTV, May 28, 2018
  13. ^ Maria Abi-Habib and Salman Masood Pakistani Ex-Spy Chief Faces Inquiry Over Book With Indian Counterpart, New York Times, May 29, 2018
  14. ^ Pakistan Army summons former ISI chief over book he co-authored with ex-RAW head, Hindustan Times May 26, 2018
  15. ^ Former ISI chief Asad Durrani's name put on no-fly list, The Express Tribune, May 29, 2018
  16. ^ "Pakistan Army summons former ISI head over book 'Spy Chronicles'". The Week. Press Trust of India. Islamabad. 26 May 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  17. ^ Imran, Mohammad (18 October 2018). "IHC orders ministries to submit reports on former spy chief Durrani". DAWN. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  18. ^ Shafqat, Shazar (31 May 2018). "Understanding the Controversy Around Spy Chronicles". South Asian Voices. Archived from the original on 10 March 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  19. ^ Shahid, K K (3 June 2018). "Illusions of controversy". TNS – The News on Sunday. Archived from the original on 10 March 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  20. ^ Saifi, Sophia (31 May 2018). "Ex-intelligence chief barred from leaving Pakistan over explosive book". CNN. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  21. ^ Syed, Baqir Sajjad (29 May 2018). "Army to investigate former ISI chief over claims in book". DAWN. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  22. ^ "Ex-ISI boss Asad Durrani found guilty of violating Pak military code for writing book with RAW chief". India Today. 22 February 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  23. ^ "Pakistan Army holds former ISI chief Asad Durrani guilty of violating military code of conduct". The Economic Times. Press Trust of India. 22 February 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2019.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  24. ^ Syed, Baqir Sajjad (23 February 2019). "Army chief warns India against 'misadventure'". DAWN. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  25. ^ Malhotra, Jyoti (23 February 2019). "Ex-ISI chief Durrani, who admitted to creation of Hurriyat, stripped of pension benefits". The Print. Retrieved 3 March 2019.

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence
1990 – 1992
Succeeded by