ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former spy master Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani has said the basic threat to his country is from the internal challenges.

Durrani, who headed the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency from August 1990 till March 1993, ran into hot waters in 2018 by co-authoring a book titled ‘The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace‘ with former RAW chief A S Dulat.

In an interview with BBC Urdu, he said on the external front, Pakistan faced new challenges in the form of rivalry involving Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran.

“If you ask me challenges from outside, I would say Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey pose new challenges,” he said.

The former ISI chief went on to say that “India has not always been the biggest threat to us.”

Durrani said the basic threat to Pakistan was from the internal challenges.

“The country is facing three types of challenges: economy, political instability, and social cohesion,” he said.

“There are some areas like Balochistan where there is unrest among people who feel politically alienated and deprived. The economy is in bad shape…. The government’s credibility is bad because people believe it has been brought into power by the military,” he said.

He acknowledged that military’s interference in the country’s political affairs was a reality, asserting that it was detrimental to Pakistan.

Durrani who also served as director general of the Military Intelligence in 1988, said Prime Minister Imran Khan‘s biggest problem was the impression that he did not come to power by himself and that “he came with a khaki burden”.

He also opposed the changing of status of Gilgit-Baltistan which, he said, will be a blow to the Kashmir cause.

“When I was looking after the affairs of Kashmir, a close friend of mine, Yusuf, explained to me that the day we made the mistake of changing Gilgit-Baltistan status, it would be a big blow to our Kashmir cause,” he said, but did not explain who Yusuf was.

“You may give more rights to G-B, if you want to, but it should not be forcibly made a province of Pakistan,” said Durrani.

Durrani is in the spotlight as his second book ‘Honour among Spies’ has been published.

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