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Pak abuzz with speculation over army chief's extension

world Updated: Jul 17, 2010 18:54 IST

The Pakistani capital was today abuzz with speculation that army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had been given a two-year extension though the presidential spokesman said, a final decision in this regard will be made by the premier.

Kayani, who is set to retire in November, was granted an extension for two years, Ary News quoted its official sources as saying.

There have been reports in the past few months that Kayani could be given an extension or made the Chief of Defence Staff so that he can continue to guide Pakistan's powerful armed forces in the war against terrorism.

Farhatullah Babar, the spokesman for President Asif Ali Zardari who is the supreme commander of the armed forces, told the media that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will decide the issue of extending Kayani's term.

Babar said he would not comment on reports in a section of the media about the army chief getting an extension.

"I don't know whether the Chief of Army Staff has got an extension in service," he said.

Under the 18th constitutional amendment, it is the Prime Minister's prerogative to decide on Kayani's term, Babar said.