US watching fate of Kayani: Report

Criticism of Kayani inside Pakistan had grown in recent months as he became close to the Obama administration and Pentagon.

Updated: Jun 17, 2011, 18:43 PM IST

Washington: With Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani
facing strident criticism following the unilateral American
raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the US is keeping a close
tab on the "ultimate fate" of Pakistan`s powerful Army chief.

Criticism of Kayani inside Pakistan had grown in recent
months as he became close to the Obama administration and
Pentagon. But in the wake of the bin Laden raid, the criticism
has increased from an officer corps furious that US troops
invaded Pakistan`s territory without the Pakistani military,
and especially Kayani, being consulted, CNN reported on Friday.

Kayani "is facing more vocal and strident criticism than
he has in the past," a senior US military official was quoted
as saying by the network on its website. "We really think he
is coming under increased scrutiny by junior and mid-grade
officers."

This is the type of scrutiny senior Pakistani Generals
like Kayani are "not accustomed to facing," the official said.

"The United States is watching closely to the see the
ultimate fate of the most powerful man in Pakistan (Kayani),
the report said.

US officials are closely watching a group known as the
"11 corps commanders," the senior Pakistani Generals hand-
picked by Kayani to command. Keeping their loyalty will be
crucial for Kayani to keep his job, the report said.

Kayani, who has led the army since 2007, "faces such
intense discontent over what is seen as his cozy relationship
with the United States that a colonels` coup, while unlikely,
was not out of the question," The New York Times had reported
yesterday.

The Washington Post also quoted unnamed US officials as
saying Kayani "is fighting to survive. His corps commanders
are very strongly anti-US right now, so he has to appease
them."

PTI