Pakistan Army Chief gets three-year extension

 Share
EMAIL
PRINT
COMMENTS
Pakistan Army Chief gets three-year extension
Islamabad:  Pakistan's powerful army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was today given a three-year extension of service to ensure continuity in counter-terrorism operations in the country, ending months of speculation over his continuance. The 58-year-old Kayani, who replaced former President Pervez Musharraf as army chief in 2007, was to retire on November 28.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani announced the government's decision to extend his tenure during a televised address to the nation. Gilani said the decision to extend Kayani's term was made after consulting President Asif Ali Zardari to ensure continuity in military operations against extremists and terrorists. Kayani, who has played a key role in shaping foreign policy, will continue in the important post till 2013.

"This decision has been taken in the light of (Kayani's) effective role in the war against terrorism and in the enforcement of rule of law in the country," Gilani said. "The nation is going through difficult times in this war against terrorists," he said, adding that Kayani had "successfully led us in this war and his staying on is in our best interests".

"The government is presently engaged in a war against terrorism which is now in a critical stage," Gilani remarked. This campaign against the terrorists requires continuity of military leadership under the current army chief "who led successful operations in Swat, Malakand and South Waziristan", he added. "We are confident that under the leadership of General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, the war against terrorism will be taken to its conclusion," Gilani said.

Kayani, the country's 14th army chief, is a former chief of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency. He belongs to the Jhelum region, a part of Punjab province known for producing soldiers. He joined the army in 1971 and fought in the war against India in the same year.

The government's decision ended months of speculation on whether kayani would be given an extension. There had also been reports that the government could create the new post of Chief of Defence Staff to accommodate Kayani following his retirement. 


Get Breaking news, live coverage, and Latest News from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.

NDTV Beeps - your daily newsletter

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................