MABAD Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Thursday, extended the service of Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani for three years after his retirement on November 29, 2010 and informed the nation in a national TV and radio broadcast.
Justifying what he said relaxation in existing policy in according extension to army chiefs service the Prime Minister said the decision was done for the sake of continuity of counter terror operations that were in their crucial stage. Besides, it was done keeping in view the effective role played by the army chief in the ongoing war against terrorism, he added.
The Prime Minister announced this key decision in his address to the nation on electronic media and the decision, he said, was taken in consultation with President Asif Ali Zardari. According to the officials of the Prime Ministers Secretariat, the address to the nation had this one-point agenda and Premier Gilani wanted to take the people into confidence for this important decision.
TheNation has already broken the story that it was on cards as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had, reportedly, been lobbying for this extension during her meetings with top leadership on Sunday last. We believe that the war against terrorism would approach its logical end under the able leadership of COAS Kayani, the Prime Minister remarked.
According to the Prime Minister, General Kayani not only boosted the morale of the civil leadership but also pleaded democracy at every point of time.
Both for his professional competence and democratic vision, General Kayani is respected and regarded very well by the international community.
This announcement has not only put months of speculation to end but also silenced the conspiracy theories pleading derailment of the political dispensation. The success of the army operations against militants and extremists was not possible without the able leadership of the army, the Prime Minister observed.
General Kayani who succeeded Gen Musharraf as Pakistans 14th army chief on November 29, 2007, is a recipient of Hilal-i-Imtiaz and Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military) for his meritorious services.
He served at various levels of command including his stint as DG Inter Services Intelligence.
Besides, being Chief of Staff Corps, General Kayani has also held the coveted post of DG Military Operations.