Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday recused himself from hearing a petition filed by former DG ISI Asad Durrani and referred the case to the chief justice for formation of a new bench. “I know the whole background of the case and was in the process of writing the judgement as well. It is unfortunate but there are some reasons that I do not want to say publically,” the judge told the court, and said that he is sending the case back to the IHC chief justice so that he could decide about forming a new bench to hear the matter. Lt Gen (r) Asad Durrani has filed a petition in the high court seeking removal of his name from the exit control list (ECL). Durrani found himself in hot water after co-authoring a book, titled The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace, with Amarjit Singh Dulat, the former head of India’s Research and Analysis Wing spy agency, in 2018. After the book’s publication, the Military Intelligence (MI) had written to the interior ministry to put Durrani’s name on the ECL and the same was done in May 2018. The former spymaster challenged the move in the IHC in 2019. When the petition was again taken up for hearing on Friday, Justice Kayani announced his recusal from the case, which he had been hearing as part of the single-member bench. In his petition, Durrani claimed that the government had put his name on the ECL in connection with an inquiry related to a book he co-authored. The inquiry has since been concluded and he had also been punished accordingly; however, his name was still on the ECL. Last month, the Ministry of Defence had opposed Durrani’s request seeking removal of his name from the no-fly list, saying he had been “interacting with hostile elements” including Indian intelligence agency RAW since 2008 and was likely to be involved in future publications against the interests of Pakistan.