Islamabad, Jan 13: Former National Security Adviser Major-General (retired) Mehmood Ali Durrani has defended his decision to disclose Azam Amir Kasav's identity as a Pakistani national, claiming he had been authorised in writing by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to speak on the issue of the lone surviving Mumbai terrorist's identity.
Durrani claimed that Gilani had in writing authorized him to speak on matters of national security and Pakistan-India relations, and it was his understanding that the Kasav issue was within that domain.
He said that all stakeholders had been taken into confidence before the statement on Kasav was made public.
Talking to the DawnNews, Durrani asserted that he had not breached the confidence or the trust of the leadership, and denied he had any differences with Gilani before his sacking.
When asked about reports that top American officials had lobbied for his restoration, he said the reports were nonsensical because he had approached any top government functionary or the Americans.
Durrani said he was relaxed and comfortable at home and was not interested in any position.
However, he admitted having had strong links with top US officials, but said such contacts were necessary for protecting Pakistan's national interests.
He regretted that certain elements had launched a character assassination campaign against him and were terming him an American agent.
Durrani, who once served as military secretary to former president General Zia-ul-Haq, said he had served the country for more than 40 years with honesty and commitment and those who doubted his patriotism might not be patriotic themselves.