For the record, former ISI chief Hamid Gul isn't facing heat because of the Mumbai carnage. In a secret two-page document the United States sent to Pakistan and the United Nations Security Council, Washington has recommended that Gul and four other officials be included in the list of international terrorists. The charges? They have helped the Taliban mount attacks in Afghanistan.
Gul scoffs at the suggestion that Washington's recommendation followed the Mumbai attacks. "I was on the so-called international terrorist list much before the Mumbai attacks," he declares. But isn't he perturbed? He guffaws and says, "Absolutely not. This is both fallacious and inaccurate. What can one say about this US report which cannot even get my address, passport number and other personal facts right?"
So is he hoping for assistance from the Zardari government? "This government is lost. I talked to foreign minister Mehmood Shah Qureshi and he appeared preoccupied and replied, 'I really do not know anything'." He feels the neo-cons in the US have named him in the secret document because of an ulterior motive. "They have very few days left. Now they are trying to embroil Barack Obama in the conflict so that he does not succeed in the programme of 'change' that he has promised the American people. It's a clear conspiracy against Obama," Gul told Outlook.
The ex-ISI chief also takes pride in the fact that he still has friends in Afghanistan, even among the ruling alliance. "I've great admiration for the Afghans who have put up such a magnificent defence of their nation. I have no hesitation in saying that I believe that the US is the aggressor in Afghanistan," he confesses.
Gul also cautions India against jumping on what he calls the sinking ship of the US. "The US wants to get India onboard inside Afghanistan and are seeking 1,50,000 extra troops there."
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