Pak Army chief’s hands-off on politics creating new set of problems

March 29th, 2009 - 1:29 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, Mar.29 (ANI): The deliberately reserved style of Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Kiyani, experts and critics believe is compounding Islamabad’s myriad problems.

General Kiyani’s determination not to have a front line role in Pakistan’s politics may make it harder to unite Pakistan under its central Government, some Western officials believe.General Kiyani inherited a deeply demoralised army, shaken by six years of uncomfortable alliance with the US in the War on Terror - and particularly by attempts to crack down on militants on the Western border with Afghanistan.

Experts believe that his predecessor General Musharraf’s repeated resort to military solutions in the tribal areas and, most controversially, in Baluchistan, was an evasion of the political problems that those uprisings represented.

General Kiyani has since taking over held back the army from direct confrontation with thousands of protesters and supported President Zardari’s deal with Taleban militants in the Swat Valley (a decision that has brought international condemnation). Critics of the position say that army was making inroads into the Taleban and could have made more with greater numbers and a more consistent presence. The deal that was done, which allowed the Taleban to bring in sharia courts, has appeared to license violent and arbitrary justice, and to reward the militants. It has jeopardised Pakistan’s unity under the same system of law. (ANI)

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