ISLAMABAD - Former chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence Lt Gen (retd) Hamid Gul was laid to rest on Sunday. Gul died of brain haemorrhage late Saturday night due to low blood pressure in Murree.

Funeral prayers of the late ex-spy master were offered at Race Course Rawalpindi and was attended by a large number of people, including Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and General (retd) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The deceased was buried at Army Graveyard in Rawalpindi.

Gull was commissioned in Pakistan army in 1956 and retired in 1992. He also took part in the wars of 1965 and 1971. Gul served as chief of the country’s premier spy agency between 1987 and 1989. He was a key figure at the time the Soviet Union was engaged in a war with Afghanistan. He was one of the leaders who took part in training the Afghan Mujahideen to fight off the Soviet forces. He is considered to have played a big role in Taliban’s rise to power and a key player in Afghan war. He also played a role in Pakistan’s politics and played a critical role in making of the Islami Jamhuri Ittehad (IJI). He remained active on political and social forums and was famous for openly expressing his political views.

Tributes for late former military spy continued to pour in on Sunday from top military and political figures. They said Gul was a man of great integrity professionalism and true patriotic.

In a statement released by the army’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations, “Chief of the Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif has expressed his condolences on the sad demise of Lt Gen (retd) Hamid Gul”.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also expressed grief over the former spymaster’s death. Premier Nawaz prayed for eternal peace for the departed soul and said: “May God bless the deceased with countless blessings in the Hereafter.” He expressed condolences with the bereaved family to bear the loss.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan tweeted: "Sad to learn of Gen Hameed Gul's death. Whether one agreed with his views or not, he was a patriot. Condolences & prayers go to the family."

PTI legislator Arif Alvi tweeted that Gul had died on Saturday night of a brain haemorrhage at age 79 and called him "a great man".

Federal Minister for Information Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid also expressed his deep grief and sorrow over the demise of Gul. In his condolence message, the information minister prayed to almighty Allah to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family to bear this loss with fortitude.

Finance Minister Senator M Ishaq Dar expressing his grief said he was saddened to hear the news. He prayed for lasting peace to the departed soul. Dar also sympathised with the bereaved family. "No loss is greater than losing the most dear one for any family. May Allah grant you the courage to bear this loss," the finance minister said in the message. Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani and Deputy Chairman Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri in their separate condolence messages also prayed for the departed soul.

Hurriyat Conference Jammu Kashmir leaders Shabir Ahmed Dar, M. Iqbal Mir and International forum for justice and human rights chairman M Ahsan Untoo while paying glowing tributes to late spy chief said that Kashmiri nation has lost their one of the best advocate and sympathiser.

They termed the demise of General Gul as a big setback to Kashmir cause and he not only openly advocated for Kashmir cause but practically took active part in Jahad-e-kashmir.

The leaders said that his contribution to Kashmir movement can never be forgotten and he will always remain in hearts and minds of Kashmiris.

The Chairman of United Jihad Council (UJC), Syed Salahuddin, said that the late General was a brave soldier and ardent flag-bearer of Islam and its ideology and his death has created a vacuum, which will hardly be filled.

Chairman Jammu and Kashmir People’s Freedom League, Muhammad Farooq Rehmani said Gul was a great professional warrior of the Pakistan army with a firm ideological thinking.

“He is linked to an unforgettable chapter of Pakistan-Afghanistan history. After his retirement he showed deep interest in the freedom struggle of Kashmir and delivered important lectures on it. He had a dream to see Jammu and Kashmir free from the clutches of Indian occupation, but he could not live to see his dream fulfilled in his lifetime,” he added.