Former ISI chief Lieutenant-General (R) Hamid Gul was rushed to CMH in Murree on Saturday after he suffered brain haemorrhage. The doctors tried their best to save him but failed. He was 78.
Born on 20th November 1936 in Sargodha, Gul joined the army in October 1956, he fought two wars against India and was awarded Sitara e jurat for his bravery on the battle field.
After serving as a battalion commander, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier in 1978.
Gul was appointed the chief of the ISI in 1987. At this time the U.S. and Saudi Arabia were using the spy agency to funnel billions of dollars to militants fighting the Soviets during the Afghanistan invasion. These militants later became the backbone of the Taliban.
Hamid Gul was sacked by Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto after he admitted forging an alliance of Islamist political parties to challenge Bhutto in the 1988 elections that brought her to power.
Gul also refused to label Osama Bin Laden as a terrorist until irrefutable evidence was provided linking him to the acts of terrorism. He even stated that the attack on the twin towers on Sept 11th were clearly an inside job.
In 2007, Gul was arrested by the military police in Islamabad during President Pervez Musharraf's declared state of emergency after Benazir Bhutto wrote a letter to him and named Gul as one of the four people who she suspected behind the attacks carried out on her.
The United States government wanted to include Gul’s name in a list of international terrorists that was sent to UN Secretary General, but China refused.
He had been placed on a U.S. watch list of "global terrorists" after the U.S. showed a document that detailed several charges against him, including allegations that he had ties to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.These allegations were however rejected by Gul. Despite being linked to many allegations regarding the Taliban, Gul was considered a true patriot by many people.
Hamid Gul was celebrating Pakistan’s Independence day in Muree with his family when he suffered the haemorrhage. He was laid to rest in the army graveyard in Rawalpindi.