U.S. Fingers Four Former Pakistan Spy Chiefs
"Next Who Controlls The Pakistani Nuclear Warheads ?"
A little over a decade ago I sat in the living room of Hamid Gul, a still-powerful former head of Pakistani intelligence, listening to him rail in cold fury about the United States.
A hawk-like man with laser black eyes, Gul was known as the "father of the Taliban" for his role in midwifing the fundamentalist Afghan coalition into a fighting force that took Kabul and ruled the country with a puritanical zeal until ousted by the U.S. in the wake of 9/11.
Now he's been fingered by the U.S. as one of four former top Pakistani intelligence officers supporting Islamic terrorism.
But when I interviewed him in the spacious living room in his house in Rawalpindi, a military garrison town adjacent Islamabad, he denounced U.S. "meddling" in the region and held Washington responsible for the AK-47s and heroin that had flooded the country.
As I wrote here back in January:
Gul, whose dagger-like eyes, thick, slicked-back black hair, and clipped Sandhurst accent gave off the aura of a 1920s-era movie star, had worked closely with the CIA in supplying U.S. arms to the Afghan mujahideen against the Red Army. For the next hour and a half he slouched in an overstuffed chair, blaming the United States for all of Pakistan's problems.
In her first term in office in 1989, Bennazir Bhutto had appointed Gul head of the powerful ISI, Pakistan's intelligence agency. But when she returned from exile last year to run for president, Bhutto named Gul as one of the parties responsible for the first attempt on her life in Karachi.
Gul has long intrigued with Kashmiri separatist groups, one of which, Lashkar-e-Toiba, is the leading suspect for sponsoring last week's terrorist spectacular in Mumbai, India.
Evidently the United States has finally run out of patience with Gul, its former partner in ousting the Soviet Red Army from Afghanistan.
According to reports out of Pakistan, Washington has forwarded the names of four former ISI officers to the U.N. Security Council for its list of international terrorists, accusing them of helping train the commandos who attacked Mumbai.
Gul himself, the reports said, confirmed that his name was on the list.