June 1, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 9993

Pakistani Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Muhammad Asif: Pakistan's Former Spy Chief General Hamid Gul Predicted History Would Credit Pakistan With 'Defeating The U.S. With The Help Of The U.S. During The First Quarter Of The 21st Century'

June 1, 2022
Pakistan | Special Dispatch No. 9993

Late Lt.-Gen. Hamid Gul, who died on August 15, 2015, had been chief of the Pakistani military's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), which, using U.S. arms and Saudi money, supported the Afghan mujahideen who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and who were the predecessors to today's Afghan Taliban, under the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban jihadi organization).

Gul was also known for his radical jihadi views, stating clearly: "I am an ideologue of jihad"; "jihad is our right when a nation is oppressed"; "If necessary, India's dams will be blown up"; "As Muslims, we are militant by nature."[1] Toward the end of the 1980s, he was ISI chief and created and supported many jihadi organizations, possibly helping establish Al-Qaeda in Peshawar in 1988. As ISI chief, though Gul and the American intelligence agencies worked closely together, he adopted an anti-U.S. approach after he was not made the chief of Pakistan army.

In a recent article, titled "Radicalization of the South Asian Muslim States," Pakistani military writer Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Muhammad Asif, while discussing the issue of radicalization in Afghanistan and Pakistan, noted Gul's forecast that during the 1980s Pakistan had defeated the USSR in Afghanistan with American aid and, following 9/11, would defeat America with American aid, ostensibly, by supporting the Afghan Taliban, who seized power on August 15, 2021.

Following are excerpts from the article:[2]

"By Skillfully Depicting The U.S. As An Anti-Islamic Satanic Force, Afghans [The Taliban] Inspired The Muslims, Particularly Belonging To Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Libya... To Avenge The Cruelties The U.S. Had Committed Against Them"

"The economic and political interests as well as national agenda are intentionally and skillfully twisted by the developed nations to guise them into humanitarian, ideological and religious issues, as and when it suits them.

"Afghan freedom fighters [anti-Russian mujahideen] were supported by the people and military establishment of Pakistan (ISI – Inter-Services Intelligence) to safeguard their own national interests, because in their assessment the actual goals of the USSR in the 1970s and that of the U.S. in the beginning of the current millennium were to dismember or at least render Pakistan toothless to ensure that it didn't pose any challenges to their regional allies.

"Islamic terminologies, jihad, mujahideen, etc., were popularized by the U.S. solely to gain the support of Muslim masses and states against the USSR by exploiting their religious sentiments. Legitimate armed freedom struggle started by the Afghans to liberate their country from the USSR was tactfully portrayed as a conflict between the Muslims and the Communists, who wanted to forcibly implement their 'paganistic' ideology in an Islamic state, by the U.S. and its allies.

"After the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, Afghans (Taliban) used exactly the same tactics and strategies far more effectively to gain the support of their compatriots and the peoples of Muslim countries, which were destroyed or feared that they would be destroyed by the U.S. By skillfully depicting the U.S. as an anti-Islamic satanic force, Afghans [the Taliban] inspired the Muslims, particularly belonging to Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Libya, etc., to avail the golden opportunity to avenge the cruelties the U.S. had committed against them."

"If In The 1970s And During The First Two Decades Of The 21st Century, Pakistan [Had] Opted Not [To] Get Involved In The Afghan Wars, Our Status As A Sovereign State Would Be Of An Indian Colony..."

"Pakistan got involved in the Afghan war against the USSR as well as the U.S., to ensure its survival as a sovereign state, with changed approach to safeguard its national interests. In the 1970s, Pakistan overtly supported Afghans against the USSR with the help of U.S. and its allies, but after the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, Pakistan opted to help Afghans covertly in a more discreet manner to protect its own freedom and national interests.

"Late [ISI chief] General Hamid Gul very prophetically forecast about a decade ago that whenever the history of Afghan wars was written, Pakistan would be credited for defeating USSR with the support of the U.S. during the last quarter of the 20th century, and for defeating the U.S. with the help of the U.S. during the first quarter of the 21st century.

Lt.-Gen. Hamid Gul, the late chief of ISI

"[Pakistan's military rulers] General Zia-ul-Haq and General Pervaiz Musharraf are often criticized for their flawed Afghan policies by the people who do not have in-depth knowledge of the real motives of both the Soviets and the Americans behind their misadventures in Afghanistan. If in the 1970s and during the first two decades of the 21st century, Pakistan [had] opted not [to] get involved in the Afghan wars, our status as a sovereign state would be of an Indian colony like Bangladesh, Nepal, and other South Asian countries.

"However, 'Islamization' (exploitation of religious sentiments of Muslims) after the USSR occupation of Afghanistan in 1979, had fateful consequences for the Muslim countries, especially Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.

"Even more than a year after General Zia-ul-Haq [known for promoting radical Islamism] had taken over as the ruler of Pakistan after overthrowing the government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in a coup d'état on July 5, 1977, supporting Afghan resistance against the Soviet forces did not appear a viable option to Pakistan and rest of the world. Except a loose ban imposed on liquor in Pakistan, that too for the local Muslims, no amendments had been made in [the] Constitution of Pakistan to make it a religious state. The tourists, both males and females, from all over the world could be seen roaming about freely in every city of Pakistan."

"The Word 'Jihad' (For Afghan Freedom Struggle) And 'Mujahedeen' (For Freedom Fighters) Were Popularized The World Over [By The U.S. And Allies In The 1980s]"

"It was after the Afghan resistance [led by the U.S.-backed mujahideen in the 1980s] started posing some challenges to the Soviet Union, the world, with Pakistan in the forefront, started evaluating the possibilities of exploiting Muslims' faith to inject motivation into Afghans' struggle for liberating their country from the illegitimate occupation. The strategy, which involved exploitation of religion, had tremendous potentials and equally risky prospects, which were not fully known to the planners of Afghan War [in the 1980s].

"In addition to injecting much needed motivation into purely freedom struggle of Afghans, it served to arouse religious sentiments of Muslim masses against the Soviet Union, which was despised both by the U.S.-led West and the Islamic World, with equal intensity, due to its expansionist policies and promotion of an 'evil ideology' (Marxism).

"The word 'jihad' (for Afghan freedom struggle) and 'mujahedeen' (for freedom fighters) were popularized the world over [by the U.S. and allies]. The strategy produced amazing results; the Soviet Empire proved to be a house of cards in front of the combined might of Afghan resilience, human and financial resources of the Muslim World, reinforced by modern military technologies of the U.S.-led Capitalist Bloc.

"Immediately after the withdrawal [in 1989] of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan and collapse of USSR-led Socialist Bloc, the U.S. and its Western allies withdrew the support, they were providing to Pakistan and Afghans. The sudden withdrawal of the major stakeholders of Afghan war left the poor Afghans in a grim situation. After the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan, Pakistan was also totally exhausted, unprepared, and inadequately equipped to clear the mess created by its role as the 'Frontline State' during the whole conflict [in the 1980s]."

"Iran's Efforts To Export Shia Revolution To Other Muslim Countries, Including Sunni Major Countries Like Pakistan... Served To Further Deepen The Sectarian Divide Already Existing Between Shia And Sunni Muslims In Pakistan"

"The U.S. and its allies were unable to realize in time the aftermath of arousing the jingoistic emotions among the Muslim youths across the world. Their eagerness to attain their own strategic objectives through any means served to activate the lava of hatred, which was lying dormant among the radical Muslims, for the U.S.-led Western world, which they thought had subjugated them even after the colonial period, through their unscrupulous cronies, to exploit the resources of the Muslim world.

August 15, 2021: Afghan Taliban seize power in Kabul

"The jingoism, faithfully absorbed by the radical Muslim groups, thus turned its ire toward its igniters [i.e., America], after the Afghan war. The USSR occupation of Afghanistan coinciding with the Iranian Revolution in the late 1970s, was yet another most fateful development in the modern history of the world.

"In addition to Afghanistan and Iran, it had lasting impact on other Muslim countries, especially Pakistan. The transformation of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan from moderate, developing Muslim states to regressing radical nations caused by these two events, may not ever be reversed. Iran's efforts to export Shia Revolution to other Muslim countries, including Sunni major countries like Pakistan, besides adversely affecting interfaith harmony, served to further deepen sectarian divide already existing between Shia and Sunni Muslims in Pakistan.

"In a bid to contain Shia Revolution, sponsored by Iran, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim Arab states provided generous financial and material aid to the radical Sunni groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan to protect their own sectarian and strategic interests. Resultantly, Pakistan became an arena for proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which contributed to irreversibly transform Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan from moderate Muslim state into radical religious states."


[2] Pakistan Observer (Pakistan), May 11, 2022. The original English of the article has been lightly edited for clarity and standardization.

Share this Report: