Pakistan's Army Chief Key To U.S. Plans In Region
by Jackie Northam, NPR
Morning Edition, February 26, 2009 · Within the next few weeks, the Obama administration will unveil its new strategy — and goals — for Pakistan and Afghanistan. One of the central figures in that strategy is Pakistan's army chief of staff, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, who has been meeting with U.S. officials this week in Washington.
When Kayani became chief of staff just over a year ago, there was a collective sigh of relief both in Pakistan and in the United States. Kayani replaced Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who also served as president. Musharraf stepped down under pressure and in disgrace after eight years of rule.
Kayani was quickly met with high praise from U.S. officials. The chain-smoking, stern-faced general is eloquent, enjoys a round of golf and studied at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
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