September 2001 News

Mujahideen accelerated Kashmir struggle: Hameed Gul

7 September 2001
The Nation
Nazir Bhatti

LAHORE : Former ISI Chief, LtGen (Retd) Hameed Gull foresees a race for gaining control over Afghan territory between the China and US. ''Afghanistan has important strategic position in the world as it provides access to the Middle East states which have abundance of natural resources,'' said Hameed Gull on Friday while speaking at Hameed Nizami Hall in connection with ''Issue of the Day'' programme jointly organised by The Nation and Nawa i-Waqt. Gull who recently visited Afghanistan spoke at length in favour of Taliban. He dispelled the impression that Taliban were against the education of women explaining that actually they were facing some difficulties in managing it. However, he said ''home based schools'' are still open for women. Taliban are aware of the importance of education for the female section of the society. His lecture was followed by a question- answer session in which some interesting questions were put up by the audience. He supported government''s Kashmir and Afghan policies. He said the Agra Summit had made President Gen Musharraf a hero. He hoped that the General maintain his stance on Kashmir during his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee in New York He was optimistic that the rival Afghan groups would come to a point of reconciliation and arbitration for peace.  He shared his findings in the recent visit to Afghanistan pointing out the positive and negative points of Taliban regime. He said he was invited to inspect military parade. The Taliban army held the parade in a confident carrying live ammunition and displaying modern weapons, he added. Kabul has become a more peaceful city than Tokyo and London, he said. He expressed concern over the Military''s involvement in State affairs. He said, ''The increasing interference of army in the civil affairs would widen distances between army and the people''. ''Only 288 out of 16,000 army officials were inducted in martial law affairs during Zia regime, while now army is seen in every civil department,'' he pointed out and called for a way out to end this tremendous involvement.  He deplored that Jehad was being termed as ''terrorism'' to malign the Jehadi forces. The people comply with commands of Taliban Ameerul Momineen Mullah Omar, who neither holds a public meeting nor addresses a Press conference, Hameed Gull said adding all this is due to implementation of Shariah.  ''The Afghans say that they are not afraid of UN monitoring teams. Pakistan should take the matter of monitors seriously, he said. ''If monitors are sent to tribal areas of Pakistan, there would be resistance,'' he warned passing a question that would Pakistan confront its own citizens.  About eight detained workers of an International NGO in Afghanistan, he said if proved, the 16 Afghan youth who reportedly had been converted Christians would be hanged under the law of the land. The NGOs much talk of human rights but violate law of an independent state, he said. Preaching of any other religion is prohibited in Afghanistan, he said.  About Kashmir issue, he said India should abandon her illogical stance on the issue and accept what Nehru had accepted in the UN. India claims to be the biggest democracy in the world, why is it reluctant to accept the Kashmiris'' right to vote, he questioned. He alleged that the NGOs are disloyal to our country and loyal to US only. ''The NGOs of US are working freely but Jehadi organizations of Allah have been stopped to continue their activities, he asserted. The ban on Jehadi organizations is violation of Article (2A) of the Constitution, he pointed out and said, ''Despite getting attractive salaries, plots and other luxuries, Army has failed to get Kashmir liberated but these were the Kashmiri Mujahideen only who accelerated the Kashmir movement. Only anti-Islam forces are against Jehad, he said. He feared that there may be an attempt to create rifts between Brelvi and Deobandi sects of Islam following the same between Shia and Sunni.To a question, he said ''track two diplomacy is trap two diplomacy''.Responding to a query on Army role in politics, he said, ''Pakistan should adopt either western democracy or Islamic system, as the combination of the both is creating confusion''.


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