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Pak sees stability in Kayani' extension

Many quarters have breathed a sigh of relief with the announcement of General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani being given a three year extension as pakistan's army chief.

world Updated: Jul 24, 2010 00:12 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad

Many quarters have breathed a sigh of relief with the announcement of General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani being given a three year extension as pakistan's army chief.

"For one, this means that the army offensive in the north will continue," says analyst Zahid Husain adding that Kayani has blessings of America.

Military analyst Aisha Siddiqa, author of the book Military Inc, says that the decision to extend the term depended upon three factors — an agreement within the General Headquarters, a nod from the US and support of the political government.

She said government is on the back foot and President Asif Ali Zardari himself is considerably weakened and as a result there was little resistance from political set up.

At the same time Siddiqa said that while it was true that the US would like Kayani to continue, but only if he is perceived to be able to deliver on US objectives.

This seems to be the case as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a public show of support by calling on the army chief during her visit to Pakistan this week.

She is also understood to have put in a private word for his extension.

Analysts say that while Kayani may be the best option, he may still not be the apolitical army chief that the political leadership hopes for.