Hamid Gul Father of Taliban

General Hameed Gul the brain behind Pakistan’s proxy wars: Was he the Lion of Pakistan or Father of the Taliban?

Lieutenant General Hameed Gul son of Muhammad Khan was born on 20th November 1936 in the suburbs of Sargodha. Hameed Gul was a retired Pakistani army three stars notorious general known for heading the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the top Pakistani spy agency. Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) as defender of Pakistani interests has been a crucial military intelligence establishment in Pakistan; operationally it is in charge of providing national security and intelligence assessment to the government of Pakistan.

 General Hameed Gul presided Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence from 1987-89, mostly in Benazir Bhutto’s era as Prime Minister of Pakistan. He was broadly notorious and accredited with being the brain behind Pakistan’s proxy wars with India and Afghanistan and for instigating the insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir against India in 1989 with the support of the Mujahedeen, who fought in the Soviet-Afghan war. Lieutenant General Hameed Gul played a vital role in the establishment of the Taliban and was called as the “Father of the Taliban”, and was one of the key supporters of the Afghan Mujahedeen against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Apart from the Kashmir insurgency in India and the Taliban revolt in Afghanistan, in documents leaked in April 2011 on the WikiLeaks website, former ISI chief has over the years been linked to terrorist activity in the world, especially in South Asia and was also accused by the United States of having secret ties with fundamentalist terrorist organizations such as the Al-Qaeda.

This bare-faced general was well-known in the world for his energetic engagement in the destruction of Afghanistan. His personality remained dubious both in Pakistan and abroad because of his hard-nosed stance in the Afghan war and as well as in politics. He was believed to be the man who warned bin Laden in August 1998 that the US was chasing the Saudi’s satellite phone to attack him. Counter-terrorism expert and former US government adviser Richard Clarke later told The New Yorker: ‘I have reason to believe that a retired head of the ISI was able to pass information along to Al Qaeda that an attack was coming.’

Former ISI chief Gul was also member of the Ummah Tameer-e- Nau, a right-wing militant organization that was later suspected to have planned to give bin Laden and Al Qaeda the formula-how to make a nuclear bomb. In 2004, sections of the US media was also abuzz that the former head of the ISI, Pakistan’s notorious spy agency was bin Laden’s master planner in the 9/11 conspiracy. On December 14, 2008 President of Pakistan Zardari in an interview with Newsweek defined Hameed Gul as a political ideologue of terror. The former ISI chief suffered a brain hemorrhage and was shifted to the Combined Military Hospital in Murree where he died late on Saturday.

Author: Iqbal Dawari Political and Security Analyst


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