Indian Decade

Kayani on Top in Pakistan

The three-year extension given to Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has underscored his influence.

The three-year service extension given to Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has surprised nobody in India. Since the failure of the Indo-Pakistan foreign ministers’ talks earlier this month, there has been a growing feeling in India that Pakistan is increasingly coming under the sway of the Pakistan Army and ISI, which many believe leads the terror campaign against India (a view given even more credence in light of the revelations about the ISI contained in the WikiLeaks documents).

Kayani was chiefly responsible for sabotaging the recent Indo-Pakistan talks and he has led Pakistan’s strategic diplomacy in China, with the United States, and on matters concerning Afghanistan’s future. Indeed, it was Kayani who impressed upon the Chinese the need for them to meet their commitment to supply two power reactors to Pakistan. In return, it has been implied that Pakistan will step up its campaign against the Uighur terrorists holed up in training camps in Pakistan’s FATA area.

On Afghanistan, Kayani and the Pakistan Army have campaigned to keep India out, and are pushing forward Pakistan-friendly Taliban factions for inclusion in the Afghan government when the US quits the country starting from the middle of next year.

Under US pressure, Kayani has started a war against the Pakistani Taliban but has refused to move against the al-Qaeda and Afghan Taliban leadership elements hiding in North Waziristan and Balochistan.

Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.

All this means that a three-year extension for Kayani means the elected civilian government of Pakistan is, to all intents and purposes, under military control.