From 1987 till 1989 he was Director General ISI and was fully involved in Afghanistan. However after the withdrawal of the Soviet troops in 1989 and establishment of a friendly regime, he looked towards East, for he had a huge “intelligentsia” at his disposal along-with incalculable resources, both material and human. The obvious choice was Kashmir. From 1989 onwards, he was to create insurgency and “invest” all his assets, who were almost “jobless” after Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, into the Indian administered Kashmir.
He is also credited with playing a key role in creating the Taliban. He once established the Islamic Democratic alliance (IDA) and remains a leading figure in the Defense of Pakistan Council (DPC).
Hamid Gul was nurtured, indoctrinated and promoted by his mentor General Zia-ul-Haq, while both served together in the early seventies when Zia was GOC First Armored Div and later Commander 2 Corps at Multan. Hamid Gul led an armored regiment under him. In 1978 he rose to the level of a brigadier and in 1982 he was commanding First Armored Div.
General Zia-ul-Haq, who ensured that a key military position should always go to a loyalist, appointed him as DG Military Intelligence in 1982. In March 1987, Zia appointed him as the DG ISI, an appointment he held until Benazir replaced him in May 1989 and appointed General (retired) Shams-ur-Rahman Kallu as DG ISI. Gul was posted as Commander 2 Corps at Multan. Later when General Asif Nawaz assumed the charge as army chief , Gul was relieved of his command and appointed as DG Heavy Industrial Complex Wah, an assignment he refused for which he was retired from active service.
Hamid Gul as DG ISI was also instrumental in the removal of ex-Prime Minister Junejo over the Ojheri camp disaster.
Hamid Gul was the mastermind of the ill-conceived all out assault on Jalalabad in the spring of 1989 by the “mujahedeen”. That proved to be a total disaster and established two things. One, the Pakistan sponsored “mujahedeen” were not capable of a conventional warfare and second the Afghan army had the capacity to defend its territory even without the Russians.
In 1988, as ISI chief, he also fathered the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) to defeat the PPP in the general elections. In one of his interviews with Iftekhar Ahmad in his program jawabdeh on Geo, telecast on December 18, 2005 when asked on his interference in the political process of the country, Hamid Gul admitted that he did get involved through putting together the IJI to oust the PPP from power in 1990.However, he was not willing to disclose the names of the politicians who approached him for favors.
Again in 1988 Gul also supported the Khalistan movement by lending full support to the Sikhs in East Punjab.
During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan he was not only actively supporting the Americans but also receiving millions of dollars from them. He later turned against them when they imposed economic and military sanctions on Pakistan for pursuing a nuclear program.
Generals Hamid Gul and Mirza Aslam Beg were also part of the 300 Ulema [Islamic scholars] who gathered at Dar-ul-Uloom Haqqania on January 9, 2001 and expressed full support to the Taliban and their host Osama Bin Laden. In the last week of February 2012, Wikileaks revealed that an internationally known private US intelligence firm Stratfor gave complimentary membership to General Hamid Gul, who had planned an IED attack on international forces in Afghanistan in 2006.
Presently he is opposing every effort by the government and the civil society to establish peace with India. Despite knowing full well what ‘most favored status’ means, he is provoking the semi-literate and his supporters in the Jihadi camp to undermine every effort to strengthen trade ties with India.
Hamid Gul’s daughter Uzma Gul, having obtained loans worth millions of rupees from Askari Bank, courtesy her father’s right connections, set up her own bus service in Rawalpindi with exclusive transport rights in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Eleven odd generals happened to be the share holders of the company headed by the general’s daughter. However, the company was later liquidated as Uzma was parking the fleet of her buses at a place which belonged to the army while the Corps Commander Rawalpindi turned against her. Varan bus Service was then disbanded.
It has been reported that General Hamid Gul had acquired 15 squares of land along the Indian border at a time when he was serving as a major. He ousted a number of farmers from their land who then moved the High Court. The court decided the matter in his favor as many plaintiffs withdrew their cases under mysterious circumstances. The land was in sub-district Shakargarh in three villages called Adha, Auliya and Bhopa.
In the second week of February, 2012, in an interview with Wajahat S. Khan of Express News channel, he categorically denied that Malik Ishaq, the leader of banned outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was present at the Multan rally of the Defense of Pakistan Council. And the pictures shown by Express News were all doctored. However when served with a legal notice, by the group, General Gul apologized.
Hamid Gul is an ex army man and the army protects its officers even after retirement. This man and many others like him played havoc with this country by exploiting the immense resources at their disposal and destabilizing the whole region. He is articulate and can effectively play with the religious sentiments of the people. He is the type who still believes in the application of violence to achieve political ends. Such delusional characters, with a sizeable support base have all the potential to ignite an all out conflict.
It is also reported that once while in Kabul, the ‘decorated’ general picked up a quarrel with an Indian diplomat over a minor car accident. The diplomat took out his shoe and beat the hell out of the jehadi general.