Gen. (R) Hamid Gul: Taliban Are The Future

February 19, 2010

Gen. (R) Hamid Gul says that Washington’s policies in Afghanistan and Pakistan have not borne fruit and that the US military will be ultimately defeated by the Taliban

Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul was a military commander in the Pakistani Army in the 1980s, and served as the head of the country’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency from 1987 to 1989.

But Gul’s rise to fame came during the Pakistan-Saudi-US effort to keep funds and logistical support flowing to the Afghanistan mujahidin, who were eventually credited with defeating Soviet military and political forces.

During the Bush administration, the US sought to put Gul on a UN list of international terrorists but their efforts were blocked by the Chinese delegation.

Domestically, Gul has been an outspoken opponent of Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president, and has called for the Supreme Court to be reinstated as the rule of law in Pakistan.

Al Jazeera interviewed Gul during a short visit to Doha.

Al Jazeera: You recently said ‘the Taliban is the future, the Americans are the past in Afghanistan’. Isn’t that a little far-fetched?

Hamid Gul: The Americans are defeated. It isn’t necessarily because their firepower and their might has weakened, but it is because their own people are sick and tired [of engagement in Afghanistan]. There is fatigue now, fatigue is the threat and is the worst thing for a nation to suffer from. There is no way that the Americans can hold on to Afghanistan.

Could that lead to [Afghanistan President] Hamid Karzai’s government being toppled?

Karzai is no more. He is now fighting for his life. They have already started telling him that by the end of this year he will have to shoulder the responsibility of security in Afghanistan. But what are they giving him for this? Nothing at all. In fact, more civilian casualties in military operations are going to weaken Karzai’s position.

Some in Afghanistan believe that the extent of civilian casualties has empowered the Taliban’s resurgence.

It is not only that. While the civilian casualties have certainly made the Taliban a popular movement in Afghanistan – some 80 per cent of the population support them – the people of Afghanistan are fed up with corruption.

They are sick of the influence of warlords and drug barons, and the continued American occupation.

If it was a shot stint – come in and get out after completing the job – the situation would have been different. But the Americans didn’t do that. If they wanted to disperse al-Qaeda, they succeeded after the first year, and after that they should have pulled out. The fact they stayed on betrays their real intentions in Afghanistan until Barack Obama, the US president, came and started talking about withdrawal.

It was only last December that Obama announced that the US will pull out of Afghanistan. Hillary Clinton said the same thing, but there is a dichotomy.

On the one hand they say ‘We are not here to stay in Afghanistan’, but on the other hand they carry out surges and want to prop up and build the Afghan Army.

However, they don’t give the money to build the Afghan Army – just $140mn. Compare this to how much it costs the US to keep just one soldier in Afghanistan – $1mn dollars per soldier per year in Afghanistan. They have now about 68,000 US troops. It is currently costing them $65bn just to maintain these troops. There are another 30,000 US troops now coming, so it will cost the US $100bn a year to maintain its forces in Afghanistan.

The US is a heavily indebted nation so how are they going to afford this? Some 57 per cent of Americans in the polls say they don’t like this war and want their boys to return home. The Americans can’t take casualties, that is their problem. To compensate, they started employing security contractors, some 104,000 security contractors currently in Afghanistan.

What does this mean? Mercenaries to be used where troops cannot be deployed? We have already seen what mercenaries did in Iraq. The Americans are more and more inclined – because the US military cannot suffer casualties – to employ mercenaries, not just from the US but also from the local population.

This is a very dangerous trend if we are to believe that mercenaries can win wars and carry forward the political objectives of the country. This means that whoever has more money can employ more mercenaries, win wars, win territories, etc.

Given everything you have just said, how do you think the latest US and Nato offensive against the Taliban is going to play out?

It is not going to work. I think it is an ‘eye wash’, it has political purpose back home. But there is no political purpose for Afghanistan. They are saying that they are protecting the civilian population, but they are dislodging the civilians from their homes in very harsh weather conditions in Afghanistan.

The cold winds from the steppes of Central Asia sweep these regions. When you launch such military operations, the people are inevitably dislodged and their fields abandoned. In this situation, what are the Americans trying to achieve – I don’t know.

There is much ambiguity about their political objectives. Every military conflict must have a political purpose. I cannot discern that there is any political purpose.

From a strategic point of view, Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan has been seen as setting up a buffer, or deterrent, to India. But now that Pakistan has nuclear capability, how important is Afghanistan to Islamabad?

We want a friendly Afghanistan. We know India is playing havoc with us. The Pakistani Taliban are being sponsored by the Indian intelligence and the Mossad, by the way, to carry out their attacks in Pakistan. The Mossad is very active in Pakistan and they are providing all the guidance and technical support to the Indian intelligence. So, Pakistan has to have its back covered – no country can fight on two fronts.

We have to have a friendly Afghanistan, this does not mean that we dominate Afghanistan. No one can dominate Afghanistan, a country which has already buried two superpowers and the third one is about to be buried there.

No, that’s not the purpose Pakistan has in Afghanistan.

Is the failure to stabilise Afghanistan adversely affecting Pakistan’s own security?

Yes, indeed it is. The conflict is not just derivative of the failures of the Kabul government – that is a puppet government. The real cause of the conflict is the occupation of Afghanistan by the Americans. If they go out, and after such a time – post-US occupation, the OIC and the Muslim countries have to come in and play their part. Then Afghanistan can redeem itself.

I do not think that Afghanistan will be another Vietnam for the Americans because they have said they will pull out. Obama is a president who is very clear. In his State of the Union address, I think it was clear he was not addressing terrorism but instead focusing on such internal issues as healthcare, unemployment and debt servicing.

It appears he is more focused on the domestic front than foreign affairs. You can’t focus on both at the same time.

There has been a surge in violence in Pakistan since the exit of Pervez Musharraf, the former president. The Pakistani Taliban threaten towns and cities, and there are tensions between the PPP and MQM in key ports like Karachi. What is needed to stabilise Pakistan right now?

Political cleaning up of the mess. The rule of law must take root in Pakistan. Unfortunately, the more powerful among the politicians and generals, when it comes to their turn – whether by martial law or civilian democracy – they want to run the affairs of the country according to their own predilections and propensities. And that is where we go wrong.

The political institution has to be set right; the Supreme Court and Parliament must be empowered. Right now, all the power is vested under the 17th Amendment, which was an amendment to the constitution passed by the dictator Musharraf in 2003. This gave more power to the office of the president and the ability to bypass the constitution and remain in leadership irrespective of elections.

Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president, now has that power and he is refusing to budge. So, the 17th Amendment has to go, Parliament has to be empowered, rule of law by the Supreme Court has to be established and the army must not interfere. Then things will begin to fall in place and we will take the right direction.

Do you think the US is helping Zardari stay in power because he is seen as co-operating in the so-called war on terror?

I think there is ambivalence in their position and they sometimes do criticise him. The American press has in the past bashed Zardari, but it has gone quiet now. The Americans fear the return of the Supreme Court in Pakistan because it could rule that the US drone attacks are violations of the country’s sovereignty.

If that happens, Parliament would have to act on the Supreme Court’s decision and reverse the policy. The Americans are sceptical and suspicious that if the Supreme Court is given free reign in Pakistan, it is likely to rule against their interests and agenda in Pakistan.

Do you think the government will survive until the next national elections?

The government will survive but I am almost certain Zardari will not. I do not want to appear to be clairvoyant, but I doubt Zardari has many days left in government.

In recent years, US officials have accused you of having close ties with the Taliban and al-Qaeda. How do you respond to that?

No, this is wrong, I have no such ties. As far as al-Qaeda is concerned, I simply say come up with the evidence for 911. You haven’t even charged Osama bin Laden so far, that means you don’t have hard evidence against him. The full story is yet to come out.

In my opinion, all this is a gimmick, an inside job.

In regards to the Taliban, I support their cause of Afghan resistance. I lend them my moral support because I have in the past had strong connections with them. Incidentally, I maintained strong connections with both sides. Many in the Afghan government are my good friends.

But since the Taliban are representing the national spirit of resistance, I have given them my voice. The Americans sent my name to the UN Security Council to put me on a sanctions list and declare me an international terrorist. But they failed because the Chinese knew the truth well and blocked that move.

Basically, the Americans have nothing against me. I saw the charges and I replied to them in the English-language press in Pakistan. I said if they have anything against me to bring it forward, put me on trial. Tell me what wrong I have done. I have been taking moral stands. The Americans talk of freedom of speech, but apparently my speech hurts them because it counters their excesses.

I won’t use the word ‘interests’ because what US policy-makers are doing runs against the interests of the American people. If I say this is right and this is wrong, I am exercising my right and ultimately, this is to the benefit of the American people.

But Zardari once told a western journal that you are a “political ideologue of terror”.

I wrote a letter to Zardari that I am an ideologue of jihad, which is common between us. He is a Muslim like me and believes in the Quran. Terror is a totally different thing. I do not support terror at all, but jihad is our right when a nation is oppressed. According to the United Nations Charter, national resistance for liberation is a right. We call this a jihad.



  1. He is a wise and intelligent man, a patriot. I Like him.

    • Hamif Gul is the same idiot who thinks Osama Bin laden is a great man, whilst even the common pakistani illiterate knows Bin laden is an american spy

      • Hamid Gul claims to be a muslim, what about Mehran gate ??? what about using pakistani tax rupees to destablize Benazir Bhutto ? what about getting in bed with zia and spreading hateful ideas through out asia ???

      • listen hmaza….. u know absolute jack about the guy so its pretty f***** pointless talking to a little kid like you. what, u getting bored of your toys that u needed to come here and talk crap instead????? sir, the gentleman who YOU are calling an idiot is a TRUE patriot and bloody well think not twice, but thrice before you open that orifice of yours. he’s a true mujahid who worked tirelessly during the Afghan resistance of the late 80’s but was also instrumental in defeating the Soviets and forcing their retreat. Even German intelligence officers officially honoured this guy and lauded his efforts. if you get time, go on you tube and see some of his interviews and you will for sure change your opinion about him. your points of view are borne out of ignorance, not intelligent research. i have a word of advice, try say something constructive if you can, if you cant then just go and jump. he never said Osama is a great man, he said that Osama is considered a hero because he wants to fight American/Zionist occupation of Muslim lands. where the hell did you get that from?

        do you actually know the FACTS about mehrangate or are you just picking up on something you’ve read in a newspaper/magazine? i’m really surprised that a guy with not an ounce of intelligence or knowledge comes on this site and writes any shit that comes into his head!!!

        listen, take a sleeping pill and go to bed early today. sorry for grilling you here but stupid guys like you need to learn!

    • Grttttttttt man i.e. Hamid Gul.A salute from across the border to a brother and a Great General.


    • AGREED!!

    • yupp me too.. what a true mujahid and lion of Pakistan! Gen.(r) Hameed Gul Zindabad!

    • Agreed 100% he should lead Pakistan.

  3. I hope Americans fully crushed Taliban before they leave Afghanistan.

    • Me 2, we need to crush Afgan Taliban, leave behind a weak afgan goverment

  4. WE LOVE U SIR!!

  5. American can find many Malikis in Afghanistan.Moosavi will also do.

  6. yeah …… and it is reality …… Talibaan aay ga …… Inqalaab lay ga

  7. Taliban in afghanistan ,are the future, there is no denying the fact.those who sale their nation out of fear or money are remembered as traiters and cowards.

  8. Hope the Americans will leave the Afghanistan soon becouse this war has damaged our econimy very badly


  10. This man should be hung! he just does not want peace and wants to keep the money coming into the army… ofcourse, when there is peace the Army is useless. but when we are always at an agressive posture, nothing will come to an end! please Gul Sahib, calm down now, app waisay hi adhay qabar mai latkay huay hain, kiyoon apnay bachoon kay bachoon ki future barbad kerr rhay hain?

    • s.a.r.a u know nothin abt this persn,so dn leave such false comments abt him.he is true muslim n pakistani..i know him v.wel bcz he was my father coleag//

    • you are missing out on realities. you are a victim of a media propaganda. i dare you to justify your statements, in particular about army and its defence spendings and i’ll make you realize what rock are you standing on.

  11. As Salaam Alaikum

    Mr. Hamid Gul is a very intelligent, wise muslim. He knows the art of politics very well. I truly admire him. Pakistan would be in much better condition if this man was in charge. I will keep Hamid Gul, Pakistan, Afganistan (and the rest of the ummah) in my duas.

  12. @S.A.R.A

    Gul’s message and mission is not for you.It is not for those who have chosen to be slaves of Hunood and Yahood.Burger generation should carry on its life style of “Geedar Ki Zindagee”, and continue to watch Porniwood.

    His message is for a valiant Muslim nation which wants to establish Allah’s Rule in Pak land.Majority of Pakistanis are with him.

  13. Pakistan is for Pakistanis, MQM, PPP, ANP and other agents should go to hell.

  14. hahah you people are nothing but idealists. If you really think this guy is right.. go to “Jihad” in Afghanistan which he is so proud of. I am a realist, not a wisher washer.

    • Can you please explain in detail why you hate the guy so much ?

      Do you realise what hes done for us Pakistanis? Had it not been for him the Russians would be sitting in gwadar right now after ethnically cleansing the “communist republic of afghanistan ” and shoving stalinism down their throats.

      He didnt push for war. He pushed for resistance and still does.

      The russians and the americans were the ones who travelled hundreds of miles to occupy Afghanistan . Or was it the other way round.

      Resistance is his right!

      And about the jihad he is proud of . Any muslim who wishes otherwise , maybe wishing the americans to prevail in afghanistan or the afgans not putting up enough resistance might be on the wrong side my friend.

      We slaves of Allah worship none but the Almighty .

      Americans will go down like the Russians! Mark my words!

      • Correction :
        And about the jihad he is proud of . Any muslim who wishes otherwise , maybe wishing the americans to prevail in afghanistan or the afgans not putting up enough resistance IS on the wrong side my friend.

  15. @Ali Alamzeb….

    you are really, really quick to abuse…
    the the fact remains that Hamid Gul is a SELF CONFESSED corrupt man and has admitted to distributing PUBLIC money to politicians…..

    If he didnt agree to it he could and should have said NO and resigned his commission but he DIDNT and happily went along with RISHWAT KHORI…

    im SURE you know what your religion says about that…

    Hamid Gul is CORRUPT beyond measure who has shamed the honor of he Army..

    • My Dear Friend, when any body, who got corruption or crime, never admit him self,

      ever Zardari, Nawaz, etc etc admitted 🙂

      He is the Silent Hero, produce major role to USSR with Gen. Akhtar Abdul Rehman (Shaheed).

      He have a credibility to save Muslim ummah and Pak.

      Salute u sir Gul

  16. I love u Sir

  17. @ Ali Alamzeb…

    why dont you go and ask this disgraceful officer (as an ex service man I am personally ashamed of him) what he thinks about his beloved Taliban sheltering Shia killer Riaz Basra during the 90’s and why even at our insistence never gave him up to us…

    is it because you dont think? dont know? dont want to know of think that everyone who doesnt agree with and Gul are not Muslim or Pakistani Enough?

    When you grow a brain son, then you can came back and answer this one…

    Little kids who havent served a day nor fired a shot love to talk and talk and talk…

    • Because after Khomeini revolution,the scenario completely changed and many things came to light,which the Muslim world had never known.

      I cannot understand your intentions of opening closed matters.

      • @ultra nationalist….

        listen son, your no ultra nationalist…your just ultra ignorant..

        and Beta, these matters are not closed. If you consider the killing of your own countrymen as a closed matter then fine.
        If the Taliban are the future, then Beta, we have no future worth it’s name.

        The fact of the matter is that Hameed Gul is SELF CONFESSED CORRUPT. Period.

        why would you support such a man? As a man who has served this country and I took an oath to defend all it’s citizens and it’s constitution…be those citizens Shia, Sunni, Atheist, Christian, Hindu whatever..I lived upto my oath but not this man..
        he took money in his dirty hands and gave it to those Pig like politicians who were waiting for like like like a whore waits for customers..

        WTF does Khomeni have to do with the Taliban sheltering Riaz Basra? it only shows your own sectarian bias.

        and in that case Beta, your very existance breeds fitna and hurts my beloved Pakistan. My home. I have served her and earned the right to speak.
        Just how the hell have YOU served her? by supporting this 3rd class rashi afsar?
        shame! shame!

      • @ultra nationalist…

        i dont know about ultra nationalist…but if you support self confessed CORRUPT MEN like Hameed Gul…
        then you are an ultra-anti nationalist…!
        well done beta! well done!

    • @D_a_n(Sir)

      After having read your comment of 22nd(5:35 pm,which appeared very late)I simply would say that we are proud of you(as you yourself are)for serving the country,honestly and retiring quietly.You may be Sunni,Shia,Atheist,Christian or Hindu,but you are a true Pakistani.
      What precipated the matter was that you,after having attained a stature of a “Muqtane’a”(self contended)Pakistani,you involed yourself in mud-slinging.
      Pakistanis (specially youth)are very emotional towards their national Heroes,which also includes Gul,and would not tolerate insult to them.

      Moreover,it was not me who talked sectarian, your initial comment,Sir,of Riaz Basra “Shia killer”,was prompting.In Islam,if someone has uprooted a tree for no reason,is mujrim,what to talk about killing humans.

      I would request you to dis-regard all my previous comments.

  18. Hamid Gul is a man who can see the future as he is an extremely seasoned and visionary commander. Even after retirement he commands millions in Pakistan who look up to him and share his vision.

    Whether we like the Talibans or not it does not matter but they will be the future as the things are happening. Thanx to the west for their unbalanced policies and double standards regarding world major political issues.

  19. Well i mostly agree with this Great son of soil,
    He is right in saying that Talibans are future and American are history now .
    the world will see a defeat which would become a lesson for rest.
    One can see the faces of Americans diplomates and Marines in Islamabad parties and dinners,they are pale like lifeless leaves and each individual is trying to find a new solution in discussions with pakistanis for American face saving and survival but they know not its too late and its about time to arrange for body bags !

  20. Inshallah, Taliban must be defeat the USA, NATO and Munafikeen govt. with those stupid who r making or make fool in the name of Islam.

    May Allah give success to Taliban. Afghan Taliban are real heroes and the Mountain Lions.

    We are with Talibans

  21. @D_a_n,
    You sarted with Riaz Basra,but have deviated.Is “Kitman”or “Taqayya” holding you up.

  22. @D_a_n(Sir)

    By the time I sent my comment at 8:11 pm,your post of 5:35 pm had not appeared(or atleast I did not see).

    Now that I have seen it,I feel proud thatyou served the country and rightly proud of that.May you be Sunni,Shia,Atheist,Christian or Hindu,you are a true Pakistani.
    Having attained that stature,it was advisable not to have involved yourself in mud-slinging.After all Gul commands love and affection of a great majority of masses and would react to such villifying remarks.

  23. @ Ultra Nationalist…

    Beta, I have not looked for any thanks for my service. My service was enough in itself and being a 4th generation soldier, to serve my home is in my blood.
    I speak with the weight of my and my family’s service behind me.

    You claim I am mud slinging…fine. Prove it.

    Gul has confessed on National TV that he took money and gave it dirty, corrupt politicians. The man dishonoured the Army, the uniform, his comrades and lowered the prestige of hundreds of thousands who fight in the name of our God given Home Pakistan. Thats what he did. If he had been ordered to do so, Beta, then he should have refused and resigned as officers are law bound and honor bound to refuse illegal orders.
    He would have left in with dignity but he HIMSELF smeared mud on himself and then expects no one to remember.
    If he is a Hero to you Son, then this country is in trouble. I Hold my own Hero’s to a higher standard. Just because he says what you agree with should not blind you to his actions. Actions which caused Pakistan damage and hurt the institution which gave him so much.
    So prove me wrong that Gul is not a corrupt man and I will run away with my tail between my legs.
    If not, I suggest you recongize that you are wrong and educate others as well.

    You are also welcome to prove me wrong that Mullah Omar was sheltering Riaz Basra and Supah e Sahaba terrorists…Animals who feasted on the blood our innocent countrymen. Animals who the T’ban thought should be protected.

    Those Son, are the facts.

    PS: Gul was a 3rd class general who’s bad planning of using irregular forces in set piece battles was responsible for Jalabad Fiasco and the delay of the communist fall in Kabul. I’d suggest you read any book to look up these military facts!

    • I would love to see your comments on Gen.Yahya,and Tikka Khan(who wanted the land not the people in East Pakistan)

      • Son,

        my advice would be to read, read and read books….
        and always know that those that shout the loudest that their voice needs to be listened to and shout loudest on how much they love Pakistan….
        those are the people you need to be careful off…
        true soldiers are always modest and like to quietly walk off into the sunset with the service being their reward…
        Allah SWT gave us this land after many trials, it has been my forefathers and my honour to serve this land…this gift from the Almighty for all that we are is because Allah gave it to us through this land.
        This is our house.
        So trust always those that let their quiet dignity speak for itself. Those who do not claim to know anything and everything. Those that are humble. Those that have the moral standing to lead people to war and in peace.
        This man is anything but humble and anything but quietly dignified.
        The two men you spoke about, were neither dignified not good soldiers. They stopped serving somewhere along their careers and stayed on for an eventual taste of power.
        The Indians drove the final nail in the coffin, yes. but it was us that allowed our bengali bretheren to ask for a divorce. Please ask people who served there and what they saw. It was not our finest hour. It was a fight between brothers in which one brother was more at fault than the other. It was something akin to Fitna. And Let me tell you, the truest of Muslims will detest and hate Fitna more than he detests Shirk. Shirk we cannot control. Fitna we can.

        The brave Army of Pakistan is paying in huge down payments of blood fighting against the T’ban. This man speaks of them like they are Hero’s. So Gul is like the JI who keep asking us to negotiate with the Animals that are the T’ban.

        Ask yourself what Jinnah Sahib would have thought of the T’ban and their methods. If you know him, the man who Allah Himself blessed enough to lead us to freedom, you will know the answer.

        It is your duty to educate yourself.

        Pakistan Zaindabad…May Allah Watch over her for eternity.

  24. Taliban are not the future, We are the future cause every bad beginning have the worst end.



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