A photo of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with former Vice President Hamid Ansari along with other senior politicians launching the book, ‘The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace’ is being shared on social media with a misleading caption.
The text with the viral photo claims that Manmohan Singh and Hamid Ansari released a book authored by Pakistan’s ISI’s former chief Assad Durrani.
The caption accompanying the viral posts reads, “The same ISI that is hardcore enemy of India and masterminds all attacks on and in India. The same ISI which engineered attack on our Parliament and attacks in Mumbai. Present Indian Government did not give visa to Asad Durrani to attend his book launch.”
The photo with the same context is being shared on WhatsApp as well as Twitter.
This photo was taken yesterday in Delhi. Now what is special about it?
*It has been taken at a 5-star hotel in Delhi, where former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh & former Vice-President Hamid Ansari are releasing a book authored by Pakistan’ ISI’s former Chief Assad Durrani! pic.twitter.com/7eKa5cCU2L
— Saru (@Saru81589968) December 27, 2018
But the same image was viral earlier this year as well on all social media platforms with the same false narrative claiming that the author of the book is Pakistan’s ISI’s former Chief Assad Durrani.
Fake news website Postcard News also wrote an article calling all the people present at the book launch as traitors in its story titled “Congress exposed once again! Senior Congress leaders including Manmohan Singh launches ex ISI chief’s book even after Modi govt. denied him Visa.”
You can read the story here.
You can access the archived version of the article here.
The image is from May 24, 2018 and the part of the message which says that the book, ‘The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace’ was launched in India by Manmohan Singh, Hamid Ansari and a few others is also correct. But an important point that all the posts have left out is that the book is not just written by Assad Durrani but actually written by three authors – Indian journalist Aditya Sinha, India’s former RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) chief AS Dulat, and the former head of Pakistan’s ISI, Assad Durrani.
Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha along with Farooq Abdulla, Shiv Shankar Menon and Barkha Dutt were also present at the launch of the book.
The cover of the book has the names of all the three authors.
Publisher Harper Collins also tweeted about the book release by Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Dr. Manmohan Singh and Shri Hamid Ansari in the presence of Yashwant Sinha, Kapil Sibal, Barkha Dutt, Mr. Shiv Shankar Menon and Mr. K.M Singh.
Dr.Farooq Abdulla, Dr.Manmohan Singh and Shri.Hamid Ansari release #TheSpyChronicles by A.S. Dulat,Asad Durrani and Aditya Sinha @autumnshade in the presence of @YashwantSinha,@KapilSibal,Mr.Shiv Shankar Menon,Mr K.M Singh and @BDUTT. pic.twitter.com/IuitAl7X3x
— HarperCollins India (@HarperCollinsIN) May 23, 2018
“The book has been styled as a conversation between two spymasters covers a wide range of subjects including NSA Ajit Doval’s way of functioning, the Kashmir issue and several thorny issues between India and Pakistan including Kulbhushan Jadhav, Balochistan and surgical strikes,” a Press Trust of India article carried by The Times of India stated.
The book launch did not create a controversy in India at the time.
Pakistan’s ISI’s former chief Assad Durrani could not attend the book launch that happened in India as he was denied a visa. Durrani had even jokingly thanked India’s government for denying him a visa to attend the event. “By denying me the visa, they saved me from the wrath of our hawks at home,” Asad Durrani, said in videotaped remarks sent to the audience in New Delhi from Pakistan, reported the New York Times.