Kiyani waiting to take over the Pakistan Army, says UK paper

November 16th, 2007 - 2:09 pm ICT by admin  

London, Nov.16 (ANI): The Pakistan Armys Vice Chief, Lt. General Ashfaq Kiyani is waiting in the wings to take over as the countrys army chief when President General Musharraf decides to quit the military and become a civilian president.
According to The Independent, Analysts have suggested that signs from Washington may have triggered Bhuttos remarks calling for Musharraf to go.
She is said to have calculated that with Lt.General Kiyani and other similar-minded generals poised to take over the army, an unpopular Musharraf as civilian president would serve no benefit.
Musharraf, however, insists that he will still retain the army’s support and, to that end, 55-year-old Kiyani has been anointed as his heir apparent.
Lt. General Ashfaq Kiyani has the rare quality of appealing to General Musharraf, his sponsors in Washington and Benazir Bhutto, the leader of Pakistan’s largest party. The former head of the powerful ISI intelligence agency is routinely described as a demure, professional soldier noted for holding a number of key positions.
As director general of Military Operations in 2001-02, his expertise is said to have helped Pakistan avoid a disastrous confrontation with India. According to the political analyst Zaffar Abbas: “General Kiyani not only excels in professional military matters and affairs of internal and external security, but also belongs to a rare breed of military officers who have a sound intellectual base.”
Lt. General Kiyani is among those credited with turning the ISI away from its pre-9/11 warmth for the Taliban and other Islamist hardliners. He trained, among other places, at General Staff College, Fort Leavensworth, Kansas.
When Bhuto was Prime Minister of Pakistan for the first time, Kiyani served as her deputy military secretary. More recently, he served as Musharraf’s envoy in power-sharing negotiations between the PPP leader and the government. (ANI)

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