Kingmaker of Afghanistan, Pak spy chief Faiz Hameed could be next army chief

13-09-2021 Mon 19:32 IST | IANS | International

His Masters Voice (HMV) -- that is how the Chief of Pakistan's spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is known in his country. Hameed is the man Friday of the Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. After installing Pakistani armys favourites on the top posts of the Taliban government, he is expected to replace his boss next year in November 2022, that is, of course, if Bajwa chooses to "retire".

As expected, after accomplishing "Mission Kabul", Hameed is now being compared to the former ISI chief Hamid Gul who is known as the "Godfather of Taliban". Gul didn't create the group - he nurtured it. In Afghanistan. Gul was sometimes called "the butcher of the Afghans." Now there is another Hameed who is despised by Afghans for supporting and assisting the Taliban in carrying out genocide in Panjshir in Afghanistan. Afghans call him the "butcher of Panjshir." On his orders, Pakistani Special Forces have reportedly flown helicopter gunships and drones in support of the Taliban as they try to wipe out resistance in the Panjshir Valley.

"Hamid Gul was the ISI chief when Russia left Afghanistan in 1989 and Faiz Hameed is the ISI chief when the US left Afghanistan in 2021. Both are butchers and responsible for the mess in our country," says Mukhtar Wafayee, an Afghan journalist.

"The visits of the director-general of Inter-Services Intelligence are usually kept under wraps but it wasn't the case with his(Hameed's) trip to Kabul," Pakistan's Tribune reported.

"Don't worry, everything will be alright," Faiz Hameed had said when he landed in Kabul last week in full media glare, to sort out the internal differences in government formation. He made sure all ISI favourite, the Haqqanis get the lion's share in the government.

His boss, General Bajwa was elated. After all, in 2019, he picked up his trusted Hameed to head the ISI replacing Lieutenant General Asim Muneer who had been appointed only eight months ago. It was after appointing Hameed as the ISI chief that Bajwa forced Imran Khan to give him a three-year extension.

For background, Hameed was seen to be hugely influential within ISI during his previous stint in the agency, according to Pakistani analysts. According to Reuters, Hameed was one of the figures who brokered a deal when protesters of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik blocked off roads into capital Islamabad. At that time, Maj Gen Faiz Hameed of the ISI signed the agreement in his capacity as the 'guarantor' side-lining the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who was later "disqualified" by the Pakistani Supreme Court when his name appeared in the Panama Leak case. It was said at that time that it was Hameed who rigged the 2018 general elections in favour of the incumbent Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on orders of his boss, General Bajwa.

Pakistani journalist Mohammad Taqi then wrote on Twitter, "Gen. Faiz Hameed, the man accused of political engineering and stealing the 2018 elections for Imran Khan, is the new DG of ISI."

Quoting Pakistani analyst Ayesha Siddiqa, Reuters wrote: "Hameed is another hardliner who would try to plug the domestic holes more ferociously - issues such as internal dissent cropping up due to PTM, Baluch, political parties at variance. He will also have to ensure extension of the COAS and keep the religious parties in better control of the military."

Both Hameed and Bajwa are from the same Baluch Regiment, and Hameed has worked under Bajwa several times in the last 15 years and became his most trusted man. According to the Indian intelligence sources, Hameed has a great links with the anti-Indian terror groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammad, (JeM), Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Harkat-ul- Ansar (HuA presently known as Harkat-ul Mujahideen), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Harkat-ul Mujahideen (Hum, previously known as Harkatul- Ansar), Harkat-ul-Jehadal-Islam (HUJI), Muttahida Jehad Council (MUC), Jammu & Kashmir National Liberation Army and Al Umar Mujahideen.

Unlike Hamid Gul and Asad Durrani and others , Hameed is unapologetic about his ties with Taliban, Haqqani Network and other terror groups. It is rumoured that he made a deal with the Haqqanis to get help to Kashmir terror groups.

He is also quite good in dealing with all "dirty" tricks on the orders of Bajwa. In June this year on his orders several Pakistani journalists were picked up by ISI and tortured. Pakistani Geo news anchor Hamid Mir was taken off the air because he protested against the high handedness of the ISI.

General Bajwa had done a major reshuffle of top generals in the security establishment last week but according to the Pakistani media, despite the pressure from his top army brass, he refused to shift his favourite Faiz Hameed.


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