Riyaz Ul Khaliq
KL NEWS NETWORK
Various separatist outfits Sunday mourned the weekend night demise of Pakistan’s most outspoken soldier who as ISI chief is believed to have sown the seeds of militancy in Kashmir. Indications suggest there might be even funeral prayers in absentia.
Gul, a darling of General Zia ul Haq, who eventually seized power in Pakistan, was posted as ISI chief at the most crucial time – 1987. While he was handling Afghan Jihad with US support against erstwhile the USSR, the entry of some of the Kashmiri youth into PaK and eventually to Pakistan led to the creation of basic infrastructure for Kashmir militancy.
Most of the Kashmiri youth who crossed over the LoC in 1988-89, had special meetings with Gul. Even after his retirement from the services, Gul was outspoken on Kashmir. By then, he was an Islamist opposing US and Delhi publicly. Indian military historians see Gul as a Pakistani strategist who was against the idea of inducting non-local militants into Kashmir.
Gul died of brain hemorrhage in Muree on Saturday. He was 79.
His death was mourned by sections of the Kashmir separatists on either side of the LoC.
Syed Ali Geelani led Tehreek-i-Hurriyat, said, “Gen Gul was a great supporter of Kashmiris for their freedom.”
It appealed people to hold Nimaz-i-Jinaza, in absentia, on August 17 post mid-day (Zuhr) prayers.
Expressing profound grief, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that Gen Gul always wanted a “just solution” to Kashmir Issue.
In a statement, Shabir Shah said, “today, with the demise of the General Hamid Gul, Kashmiris got deprived of a valour, selfless and a great leader who played undeterred role with regard to their freedom struggle.” “He (General) always used to highlight the plight of oppressed Kashmiris. His invaluable contribution to our freedom movement will always be remembered.”
Engineer Hilal War in his statement termed Gen Gul’s demise as “personal Loss”. “He was a close friend of mine and I benefitted a lot from his wisdom and vision,” a Peoples Political Party statement said. War represents Hurriyat (m).
“He had a very clear vision and had no inhibitions and believed in speaking his heart out,” said War adding, “He was so keenly interested in the resolution of Kashmir issue and worked religiously towards it.”