Former ISI chief and father of Taliban, Hamid Gul passes away

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Islamabad, Aug 16: Hamid Gul, former chief of the Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) often referred to as the father of the Taliban died late on Saturday. He suffered a brain hemorrhage. He was shifted to the Combined Military Hospital in Murree in critical condition, the dawn.com reported.

Gul often in the news for his hardline stance against India took charge of the ISI in the year 1987. He was on vacation when he fell ill, the Pakistani media has reported.

Hamid Gul

Father of the Taliban:

Gul was often referred to by India as the father of the Taliban. He had a very hard-line policy against India. After he retired, he was always in the news for his controversial remarks most of which were directed against India. In fact, in one interview with the Newsweek, former president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari had referred to him as a political ideologue of terror.

During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, Gul worked closely with the CIA. However his relationship with the USA turned sour as he felt that certain promises were not delivered. He had sought aid after the war, but when the same was not given, he began nurturing and backing the Taliban.

He had even created waves with his statement on Osama Bin Laden. “I refuse to label him a terrorist, Gul had once said. Gul was once accused by former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto of being behind the Karachi bombing of 2007.

Gul was born in Sargodha on Nov 20, 1936. He joined the Paksitan army in 1954 and in the 1965 war, he was a tank commander. He served as a battalion commander from 1972 to 1976  and was promoted to the rank of brigadier in 1978. He served as the chief of the ISI between 1987 and 1989.

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