Mavericks, Machiavellis and mice
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
General (r) Hamid Gul is another maverick gung-ho about Iftikhar Chaudhry’s restoration. But he also makes the peaceniks mad with his call for jihad and continues to spread his ‘poison’ against America. “I am controversial. People either hate me or love me,” he blusters. Gul wants Shariat enforced in Swat “but it must be based on the Holy Quran which does not prohibit education for girls.” The ex-ISI chief is Taliban-friendly: “Their resistance is keeping the wolf (US) away from the door,” he says. As a sympathizer of Osama bin Laden, he declares: “In the absence of evidence (that he masterminded 9/11), I’m not prepared to call him a blood-thirsty animal.” And hence, he’s chums with beards of all shades and size who want to take Pakistan back to the age of jahiliya.
While allaying American fears, President Zardari told Newsweek two months ago: “(Hamid Gul) is more of a political ideologue of terror rather than a physical supporter” adding that “he’s is an actor who is definitely not in our good books. He’s somebody who was never appreciated by our government.” I ask Gul for his comments: “I am indeed a political ideologue of jihad albeit of defensive resistance but not of terror. I eschew and condemn terrorism in all forms. My views in this regards are in consonance with the injunctions of the Holy Quran and also with the UN Charter.” What about you being in the bad books of the president? I ask. “I don’t know Asif Zardari but Benazir was respectful of me. She often exchanged gifts and greetings with me and we enjoyed excellent personal relationship. Several eminent personalities would bear me out on this account.”