Kayani to remain Pak Army Chief till 2013: Gilani

Pak Army Chief`s extension will ensure that the current leadership of the govt remains till 2013.

Islamabad: The three-year extension given
to army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani will ensure that the
current leadership of the government, military and judiciary
remains in office till 2013, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf
Raza Gilani said here on Friday.

Gilani announced the government`s decision to extend
the term of Kayani, who was set to retire in November, during
an address to the nation late last night.

He said the decision was made after consulting the
President to ensure continuity in crucial counter-terrorism

"At this time, the Prime Minister will be there till
2013, the President will be there till 2013 and the (Supreme
Court) Chief Justice will be there till 2013," Gilani told
reporters on the sidelines of a function at an orphanage.

"We have extended the army chief’s term till 2013
too. Now everyone is in a secure position and they should work
under the ambit of the constitution," he said in response
to a question.

Gilani denied that there was pressure on the
government led by his Pakistan People`s Party to extend the
tenure of the Army Chief.

58-year-old Kayani, a former chief of the
Inter-Services Intelligence agency, was made army chief by
former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in November 2007.
He has emerged as a key player in shaping Pakistan’s
foreign policy.

Though political commentators often speak of
Pakistan`s "power troika" comprising the President, Prime
Minister and army chief, insiders in the government
acknowledge that it is the publicity-shy Kayani who has
emerged as the most important player in shaping Pakistan`s
foreign policy, especially relations with India and the US.