Former ISI chief Lt-Gen (Retd) Hamid Gul passes away

August 15, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: Lieutenant-General (Retd) Hamid Gul passed away after suffering a brain haemorrhage, family sources said Friday.

Reports have it that Lt-Gen Gul, 80, was rushed to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Murree after falling seriously ill while vacationing in the hill-station with his family.

Later the daughter of former spymaster chief confirmed the death of her father to media.

Gul, HI(M), SBt, was a retired high-ranking general officer in the Pakistan Army, and a former spymaster famous for serving as the Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency, between 1987 and 1989 during the late stages of and post-stages of the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

Early Life

Gul was born on 20 November 1936 to Muhammad Khan in the Sargodha District of Punjab in what was then British India but now Pakistan. He got his early education from a school in his village. He briefly got admission in Government College Lahore, before reporting to Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul, Abbottabad.

His family, originally from Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa migrated to Lahore and after a few years they settled in Sargodha. Gul belongs to Mohmand tribe of Pashtuns.

Army career

Hamid Gul was commissioned in the Pakistan Army in October 1956 with the 18th PMA Long Course in the 19th Lancers regiment of the Armoured Corps. He was a squadron commander during the 1965 war with India. He attended the Command and Staff College Quetta in 1968-69.

During 1972–1976, Gul directly served under General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq as a battalion commander, and then as Staff Colonel, when General Zia was GOC, 1st Armoured Division and Commander, II Corps at Multan.

Thus, Gul had already cemented his ties with General Zia by serving under him when both were officers in the Armoured regiments of the II Corps. Gul was promoted to Brigadier in 1978 and steadily rose to be the Martial Law Administrator of Bahawalpur and then the Commander of the 1st Armoured Division, Multan in 1982, his appointments expressly wished by Zia himself.