Tributes to ex-ISI chief Hamid Gul may irk India, Afghanistan
Tributes that poured in on Sunday for former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Hamid Gul after his death are expected to infuriate Pakistan's neighbours after a career spent promoting Islamic militancy in India and Afghanistan.world Updated: Aug 16, 2015 15:35 IST
Tributes that poured in on Sunday for former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Hamid Gul after his death are expected to infuriate Pakistan's neighbours since he spent the last few decades promoting Islamic militancy in India and Afghanistan.
"(Prime Minister) Nawaz Sharif has expressed his heartfelt condolences over the sad demise of ... Hamid Gul," the ruling party's media office said on Twitter. "The prime minister prayed eternal peace for the departed soul and said that may God bless the deceased."
Legislator Arif Alvi tweeted that Gul had died on Saturday night of a brain haemorrhage at age 78 and called him "a great man".
PM Nawaz Sharif has expressed his heartfelt condolences over the sad demise of Lt.Gen.(retd.) Hamid Gul. The Prime Minister prayed(1/1)— PML(N) [Official] (@pmln_org) August 15, 2015
Eternal peace for the departed soul and said that may God bless the deceased with countless blessings in the Hereafter.(1/2)— PML(N) [Official] (@pmln_org) August 15, 2015
The tributes will irk Afghanistan and India, who saw Gul as Pakistan's most senior and vocal proponent of militancy in their territory.
Gul worked closely with US and Saudi officials to strengthen Afghan fighters against the Soviet military when he headed the feared military intelligence agency, ISI, from 1987 to 1989. Some of those fighters later joined the Taliban insurgency.
Towards the end of his posting, officials began diverting men and guns from the Afghan war towards budding militant groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, founded in 1990 as a separatist movement in Kashmir.
After Gul retired, he frequently went on television to defend the Taliban and Kashmiri militants and blame a Jewish conspiracy for the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
His death has already elicited harsh responses from Afghanistani officials, with the former deputy foreign minister tweeting that the "real" Mullah Omar has died, a reference to his role in the creation of the Taliban.
And finally the real Mullah Omar has died in the resort town of Murree— Ershad Ahmadi (@ErshadAhmadi) August 15, 2015
Gen Hamid Gul former ISI Chief and the father of Taliban is dead, he created Taliban and was behind terror created by Taliban till last day— Sediq Sediqqi (@moispokesman) August 15, 2015
First Published: Aug 16, 2015 12:59 IST