Govt offers Kayani two-year extension
The News, February 14, 2010
By Absar Alam
ISLAMABAD: The government has asked General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to accept an extension in his tenure as Chief of Army Staff for another two years. The verbal offer was made to sound out General Kayani whether he would agree to or turn it down.
The move has been made to ensure continuity in Pakistan’s policy on the war on terror and it also has a nod from Washington as the Army has achieved remarkable successes in the war on terror under General Kayani’s command.
General Kayani has not yet given his consent and is considering this offer, it was learnt.
The offer of extension has come at a time when battle lines for a second round have been drawn between the government and the judiciary. It was learnt that the Army has communicated its decision to all stakeholders that it would prefer not to be seen taking sides.
According to the sources, the extension in service cases of Chief of Army Staff General Kayani, Chief of General Staff Lt-Gen Muhammad Mustafa Khan, and DG ISI Lt-Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha are ready to be sent to the prime minister and the president for approval.
The ministry formed the recommendations on the basis of a consensus that emerged within Pakistan and outside after military’s successes in Swat, South Waziristan and other Fata areas.
Although, the DG ISI has already given his consent to accept the extension, the cases of General Kayani and Lt-Gen Mustafa are still pending. Knowledgeable sources claim that General Mustafa, who retires in October this year, will accept the extension if only General Kayani decided to stay. Washington, which has already given an extension to its Centcom Chief General David Petraeus, has supported this move by Islamabad as it believes that such an extension would ensure continuity in Pakistan’s policy towards the war on terror.
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