Islamabad, Asharq Al-Awsat- The former head of Pakistan’s intelligence service, Gen. Hamid Gul has stated that leaked U.S. intelligence reports about his contacts with the Taliban leadership were nothing but pure lies, fabricated to justify the allocation of funds to private intelligence contractors in Afghanistan.
Gen. Gul was referring to the leaked U.S. intelligence reports that allege close connections between Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) and the Taliban. The reports, which were released by the online whistle-blower Wikileaks, raised new questions about whether the U.S. can succeed in convincing Pakistan to sever its historical links to the Taliban and deny them sanctuary along the Afghan border — actions that many analysts believe are critical for success in Afghanistan.
“It is possible that the Afghan intelligence has been planting this false information to get funding from western private contractors” Gen. Gul told Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday.
“It is a widely known fact that Pentagon has given contracts to private groups for intelligence gathering in Afghanistan. The U.S. Pentagon has allocated one billion dollars for this” Gen. Gul said during the interview “They have to do something to justify this huge allocation of funds to the private contractors” he said.
Gen. Gul was head of Pakistani intelligence service in the mid-1980’s and oversaw the American military and financial support for resistance forces inside Afghanistan during their armed struggle against the Soviet occupation. It is noted that the Central Intelligence Agency and Pakistani intelligence worked side by side inside Afghanistan when Gul was at the head of Pakistani intelligence but he became hostile to a great degree to the United States after his retirement and this became apparent in his speeches.
The leaked documents state that Gen. Hamid Gul did not only maintain ties with the Taliban and other Afghan militant leaders like Hakmetyar, but that he was also attempting to bring these groups closer in order for them to have a united front against US forces in Afghanistan. The reports also accused Gen. Gul of meeting with Al-Qaeda representatives in Pakistani tribal areas.
The former Pakistani spy chief told Asharq Al-Awsat that the leaked US intelligence reports were lies similar to the evidence given by former US Secretary of State Collin Powel before the UN Security council prior to the Invasion of Iraq, “They lied about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction and now they are lying about me” Gul said.
“This is not intelligence information. I am an intelligence man and know that these are fabricated lies and not intelligence information. These private contractors know nothing about gathering intelligence information and the only thing they know is justify these large allocations and therefore we see them issuing these fabricated reports.”
Gul presented during the interview an open proposal to the American and British Governments to question him and said: “This is a direct proposal to the two governments. I can come to London or Washington and you can question and confront me with the evidence you possess against me.” He pointed out that these Western countries have been tailing him and his family for a long time and said: “During last year, I applied for a visa to enter the United Kingdom but my application was rejected. At the beginning of this year, I presented my passport so as to renew an American visa and have not received a reply so far. I am saying this is an open proposal and I am ready to travel to Washington or London and there they can ask me and confront me with the evidence they have. But, Gul asserted, he would not be forced to do anything through these means and said: “I will continue to expose the Americans and their barbaric actions inside Afghanistan. The Americans are facing defeat in Afghanistan and looking for a scapegoat.” When asked if he denied his relationship with the Taliban movement and other armed leaderships inside Afghanistan, he answered: “All the Afghan leaderships from both sides respect me. Hekmatyar, Rabbani, and Abdol Rasul Sayyaf respect me.”