Hamid Gul

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Hamid Gul is a retired Pakistan Army lieutenant general who headed Inter-Services Intelligence. In the latter role, he was the primary contact with the Peshawar Seven groups in the Afghan resistance, as well as having contact with the Taliban, to carry out a complex mixture of Pakistani policies, cooperation with the United States and Saudi Arabia, and operate against India, all through operations in Afghanistan and bordering areas of Pakistan.

He believes that the United States applies a double standard to Pakistan and India with respect to nuclear weapons, a key factor in the strategic relationship involved in Pakistani policy towards India. [1] While the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency disagreed, Hassan Abbas said he was deeply religious, well educated, and a good political analyst when the matter was not filtered through theology and ideology.[2] He has also said that the 9-11 Attacks were orchestrated by Israel's Mossad.[3]

In the body of U.S. documents released by Wikileaks, according to DER SPIEGEL, Gul was a major supporter of the Taliban.[4] When interviewed by the Christian Science Monitor, however, he denied the allegations. "“This is utter nonsense...Malicious, fictitious, and preposterous – and if this is the condition of US intelligence, then I am afraid it is no wonder they are losing in Afghanistan, and they will lose everywhere they try to poke their nose. ...It’s a bloody shame for [the US] if a 74-year-old general sitting in his small house who has nothing to do within the ISI can pull this off...If I can pull off the defeat of America in Afghanistan, then history books will record it to my credit, and my future generations will rejoice over it.”[5]

Islamist beliefs

The BBC reported that he denied the suggestion that Pakistan's first leader, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, was a secularist.

No, this is not accurate. I think he has been misquoted. There is only one speech on record [about the subject] - and that is on 11 August 1947 - when Pakistan had already been announced [as a state]

Then, in the Constituent Assembly, he made a speech, saying: 'In the new state of Pakistan, everyone will be equal before the law, and people will cease to be Muslims and cease to be Hindus, in the eyes of the law.'

But what law did he mean? He meant Islamic law. Implicitly - he was clear in his mind - he implied that it would be Islamic law. So I think Jinnah has been misquoted... [Jinnah] is quite clear that he did not want a Muslim nation-state. He wanted an Islamic state.[6]

He was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying "Pakistan will go through its own version of an Islamic revolution…. The army is the last hope. And if the army fails – and it probably will – then people will realize they will have to do it themselves, revolt against the system… Because everything else in this country has failed, Islam will have to lead the way."[7]

Afghanistan War (1978-1992)

During the war, the ISI was a power center sometimes independent of the government.

Gul, who commanded ISI, knew Osama bin Laden, and described him as "he was more engineer than soldier... an expert at building tunnels, Gen Gul said. The tunnels, which were burrowed horizontally into the sides of mountains, were used as arms depots by the mojahedeen." [8]

Pakistani politics after the death of Zia

After the death of President Zia ul-Haq, there were differences between the middle and senior ranks of the army. The senior levels, to which Gul belonged along with the effective head of the army, Vice Chief of Staff Mirza Aslam Beg, were oppposed to Benazir Bhutto and the Pakistan People's Party, but Gul believed she would win if there were no credibe opsition. He put together the Islamic Democratic Alliance (IJI), made up of the two main wings of the Pakistan Muslim League, as well as the religious parties; this was the first alliance between the army and religious parties. He picked Nawaz Sharif as the leader of the opposition. Nevertheless, Bhutto won in November 1988.[9]

Nawaz Sharif, with ISI backing, became chief minister of Punjab Province, with considerable autonomy from the central government. Gul continued the relationship with the IJI, which was intolerable to the Prime Minister. LTG S.R. Kallue, a retired officer, replaced him. Beg, however, was suspicious of her motive, and directed the Military Intelligence Directorate, under MG Asad Durrani, to take over political functions of ISI. [10]

Afghan Civil War

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Pakistani foreign and economic policy set great value on having a land route to the former Soviet Central Asian Republics. Any such route would go through Afghanistan.

Gul argued, once the Soviets left in 1989, for recognition of the Afghan Interim Government (AIG), essentially the expatriate Peshawar Seven. Foreign Minister of Pakistan Sahibzada Yaqub Ali Khan and U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Robert Oakley dissented, saying recognition of a government resident in Pakistan would be meaningless. Gul was directed, on 6 March 1989, to have them capture Jalalabad, in a meeting that included Benazir Bhutto and Oakley. No Afghan commanders were present. The attack failed. [11]

Pakistan saw its best chance with a Pashtun government, and, after the initial failure at Jalalabad, supported Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Benazir Bhutto, in 1993, favored an alternative route to Turkmenistan, going through Kandahar in south Afghanistan rather than the route from Peshawar to Kabul to Mazar-e-Sharif in the north. [12] Bhutto may have directed ISI to find an ally. Alternatively, she and her interior minister, Naseerullah Babar, may have started the dealings with the Taliban. The latter theory also involves participation from Fazal-ur Rehman of the Jamiat-ul-Ulama-i-Islam.

Retired Interior Minister Naseerullah Babar worked with Benazir Bhutto, in her 1993-1996 term, promoted the Taliban while simultaneously trying to separate Afghan policy from those of the ISI. At that point, the ISI still preferred Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to the Taliban. Babar publicized, in October 1994, Pakistan's regional goals, by sending a shipment of Pakistani textiles from Quetta to Turkmenistan, crossing Afghanistan. The trucks were stopped, but he gave the Taliban permission to use them to take supplies from an ISI weapons dump near Spin Boldak, even giving them fire support for attacking the depot. [13] The munitions made available made possible the Taliban capture of Kandahar in November. [14]

Baber, a retired general, was offering to reconstruct roads in Afghanistan. Bhutto met non-Taliban warlords Abdul Rashid Dostum and Ismail Khan. Babar sent out a convoy on October 29, 1994, which was stopped by the southern warlords. On November 3, Taliban forces broke the hostage situation, and then moved to take Kandahar, making them a credible factor. Babar told newsmen the Taliban were "our boys", although they insisted they were independent. Nevertheless, the Taliban set up a road route and accepted assistance, as well as JUI volunteers from the Pakistani madrassas. Bhutto denied formal support of any faction in Afghanistan, saying she could not stop recruits from crossing the border. [15]

Nuclear proliferation

Arnaud de Borchgrave, of the Washington Times, describes Gul as closely linked to A. Q. Khan, and an advocate of conspiracy theories involving the United States and Israel. "Millions of Pakistanis, including most Pakistani journalists, believe Gen. Gul's conspiracy story. And the army's chiefly Punjabi soldiers believe Taliban propaganda that it is the United States that orders attacks against their fellow citizens." [1]

9/11 Attack

In response to an interview question, Gul claimed Mossad engineered the 9/11 Attack.

Mossad and its American associates are the obvious culprits. Who benefits from the crime? The attacks against the twin towers started at 8:45 a.m. and four flights are diverted from their assigned air space and no air traffic controller sounds the alarm. And no Air Force jets scramble until 10 a.m. That also smacks of a small scale Air Force rebellion, a coup against the Pentagon perhaps? Radars are jammed, transponders fail. No IFF -- friend or foe identification -- challenge. In Pakistan, if there is no response to IFF, jets are instantly scrambled and the aircraft is shot down with no further questions asked. This was clearly an inside job. Bush was afraid and rushed to the shelter of a nuclear bunker. He clearly feared a nuclear situation. Who could that have been? Will that also be hushed up in the investigation, like the Warren report after the Kennedy assassination?[3]

His claims have obvious errors; fighters were launched well before 10 AM, but were unable, for real-world technical reasons, to intercept the airliners. Airliners do not carry identification friend or foe, but less trusted transponders. Gul elaborated,

Jews never agreed to Bush 41 (George H.W. Bush, the 41st president) or 43 (his son George W. Bush, the 43rd president). They made sure Bush senior didn't get a second term. His land-for-peace pressure in Palestine didn't suit Israel. They were also against the young Bush because he was considered too close to oil interests and the Gulf countries. Bush senior and Jim Baker had raised $150 million for Bush junior, much of it from Mideast sources or their American go-betweens. Bush 41 and Baker, as private citizens, had also facilitated the new strategic relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran. I have this from sources in both countries. So clearly the prospect of a Bush 43 was a potential danger to Israel.

Jews were stunned by the way Bush stole the election in Florida. They had put big money on Al Gore. Israel has given its imperialist guardian parent opportunities to turn disaster into a pretext for imposing an all-encompassing military, political and economic agenda to further the cause of global capitalism. While Colin Powell is cautious and others are reckless and want to make up for their failure to defeat Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War 10 years ago, the global agenda is the same.

Afghanistan War (2001-)

One of the unconfirmed Wikileaks documents, marked as the Task Force CASTLE intelligence summary of 14 January 2009, said

On 5 January 2009, from 2100 to 2300 hours local time, [anti-Afghanistan forces]] commanders ((NAZIR)), ((HALLIMULLAH)), ((MALANG)) based in Wana, South Waziristan Agency, Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan, held a meeting to discuss their plans to avenge the death of ZAMARAI... Hamid Gul, a former member of Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence, was in attendance at the meeting also. Hamid Gul was described as an older man and a very important person from ISI. (Comment [in report]): Hamid Gul was director-general of ISIfrom 1987-1989 and, according to ISI, has not been an official since that time. It is not known whether Hamid Gul was acting with the knowledge or consent of ISI, or whether any portion or portions of ISI were aware of his activities.)( [16]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Arnaud de Borchgrave (21 May 2009), "DE BORCHGRAVE: Pakistan supplants Afghanistan", The Washington Times
  2. Hassan Abbas (2005), Pakistan's Drift into Extremism: Allah, the Army, and America's War on Terror, M.E. Sharpe, ISBN 0765614979, pp. 134
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Arnaud de Borchgrave, United Press International editor-at-large, interviews Pakistan ISI Chief General Hamid Gul", Newsweek, 14 September 2001
  4. Matthias Gebauer, John Goetz, Hans Hoyng, Susanne Koelbl, Marcel Rosenbach and Gregor Peter Schmitz (25 July 2010), "The Afghanistan Protocol: Explosive Leaks Provide Image of War from Those Fighting It", DER SPIEGEL
  5. Issam Ahmed (25 July 2010), "WikiLeaks report fictitious, says Pakistan's ex-spy chief Hamid Gul", Christian Science Monitor
  6. Roger Hardy (5 August 2002), "Pakistan's 'culture of Jihad'", BBC
  7. Robin Wright, "The Chilling Goal of Islam’s New Warriors", Los Angeles Times, December 28, 2000, [1]; quoted by South Asia Terrorism Portal, [2]
  8. "America's No 1 target: Osama bin Laden", Guardian (UK), 21 August 1998
  9. Abbas, pp. 134-135
  10. Abbas, pp. 137-140
  11. Abbas, p. 140
  12. Ahmed Rashid (2000), Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, Yale University Press, ISBN 0300089023, pp. 25-26
  13. Larry P. Goodson (2001), Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics and the Rise of the Taliban, University of Washington Press, ISBN 0295980508, p. 111
  14. Steve Coll (2004), Ghost Wars: the Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, Penguin, Coll, p. 291
  15. Rashid 2000, pp. 26-29
  16. TF CASTLE INTSUM [intelligence summary 4311], Wikileaks via New York Times, 14 January 2009