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Sacked NSA Durrani says Pak sacked him unduly

CNN-IBN
Jan 15, 2009 at 03:26pm IST

New Delhi: In an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN, ex-National Security Adviser (NSA) Mahmud Ali Durrani indicated that his sacking by the Pakistani authorities was uncalled for.

Durrani, who was sacked for admitting that the captured terrorist Kasab is Pakistani, said he had the permission to speak on the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Durrani spoke to CNN-IBN in an exclusive interview on the issue.

On being asked whether he had the permission to acknowledge Kasab's nationality, Durrani told CNN-IBN, "I had an overriding permission that I could, among some three or four other people, speak on the evolving situation out of Mumbai."

The transcript of the interview runs thus:

CNN-IBN: The government says you were let go because you acknowledged the nationality of Ajmal Qasab, the lone surviving Mumbai gunman. Did you have permission to reveal that information?

Mahmud Ali Durrani: "I had an overriding permission that I could, among some three or four other people, speak on the evolving situation out of Mumbai."

CNN-IBN: And who gave you permission to reveal that information?

Mahmud Ali Durrani: Not to reveal it but to talk on the evolving situation. That was a kind of an internal memo.

CNN-IBN: And what was your reaction to being relieved of your duties?

Mahmud Ali Durrani: I was not unhappy. I was only unhappy about the way it was done.

CNN-IBN: What didn't you like about how you were sacked?

Mahmud Ali Durrani: Well, I learned it on the media. And I didn't like that. You don't even sack a lowly official on television.

CNN-IBN: Prime Minister Gilani said he let you go because of irresponsible behavior. How difficult was that for you to hear?

Mahmud Ali Durrani: Well, I didn't take it seriously because I didn't believe it. But that is the Prime Minister. He's the boss.

CNN-IBN: What is this decision an indication of? Is there an emerging rift between the Prime Minister and the President?

Mahmud Ali Durrani: Well, I don't want to comment on that. They are together. They are from the same party. And I hope they stay like that for the good of Pakistan.

CNN-IBN: Is this government on the right track when it comes to the Mumbai investigations?

Mahmud Ali Durrani: Durrani: I think so. I think so.

CNN-IBN: Even with - (them letting you go?)

Mahmud Ali Durrani: Yeah, I'm just an individual. It doesn't matter.

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