General Hamid Gul blasts Wikileaks

General Hamid Gul has denied aiding the Afghan Taliban and calls Wikileaks a work of fiction. He was reacting after being implicated by WikiLeaks for rendering the fight against terrorism difficult by allegedly collaborating with the Talibans.

Lieutenant General Hamid Gul is a retired Pakistan Army general known for heading the Inter-Services Intelligence agency in Pakistani after the Soviet-Afghan War. He is known for having instigated the insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir against India in 1989 with the support of the militants, who fought in the Soviet-Afghan war. Hamid Gul served as the director general of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence during 1987-89. 

Gen. Hamid Gul (Retired)

Wikileaks opined that the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agency is “working alongside al Qaeda to plan attacks,” and as the New York Times puts it, “the behind-the-scenes frustrations of soldiers on the ground and glimpses of what appear to be Pakistani dishonesty contrast sharply with the frequently rosy public pronouncements of Islamabad as an ally by American officials looking to sustain a drone campaign over parts of Pakistani territory to strike at Qaeda havens.”

Another document on WikiLeaks points to the fact that the ISI trains group of insurgents and has a pool of suicide bombers, who are used to destabilize peace in Afghanistan. One such report from December 18, 2006 describes how suicide bombers are recruited and trained in Pakistan and sent out on missions where the Afghan National Police (ANP) helps them to carry out their missions, according to the  Daily Times.

However, Yasmeen Ali of Pakistan Potpourri reports that “there is general consensus that these tens of thousands of classified documents procured by the Wikileaks are mostly raw battlefield reports from Afghanistan, and reveal little that was not already known. All the same, it has created an impact and confirmed many fears: that the war in Afghanistan was not going too well for the US led forces; that it was largely because of Pakistan’s inter-services intelligence (the ISI) playing a “double game”; also that the Karzai led dispensation in Kabul did little to help; and that the indiscriminate use of force by the American military, a euphemism for war crimes, too has contributed to this failure.”

Wikileaks leaked more than 90,000 top secret documents of the US military, consisting of cables, internal memos and e-mails sent out to various Department of Defense (DOD) officials related to Afghanistan, revealing: i) how the coalition forces have killed thousands of civilians in unreported incidents; ii) Taliban attacks have soared; and iii) how NATO commanders fear neighboring Pakistan and Iran are fuelling the insurgency, Ali K Chishti wrote in the Daily Times.

According to The National Post, “always impeccably dressed, Geneneral Gul frequently entertains foreign reporters at his home, in a gated compound for retired officers near army headquarters in Rawalpindi. After the WikiLeaks accusations were made public, he took delight in dismissing the claims as “fiction and nothing else.”

“If this is the condition of U.S. intelligence, then I am afraid it is no wonder they are losing in Afghanistan,” he said.

“I am their favorite whipping boy and it is not the first time that such allegations are made against me. It is almost two decades since I retired from the ISI, but they keep accusing me of everything,” Gul added.

Wikileaks has starts a tsunami of Anti-Americanism in Pakistan which will be hard to put out. The only solution here perhaps is for the U.S and Pakistan to have strategic discussions, if the war against terrorism must be won in Pakistan.

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