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These 2 men are running the show in Pakistan!

Last updated on: October 15, 2010 09:05 IST

These 2 men are running the show in Pakistan!

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It is Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Inter Services Intelligence chief Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha who are really running the country and thus matter the most and not the democratically elected government, an influential US expert on South Asia has said.

"It is interesting that the US claims to want a democratic Pakistan, but whenever there's a congressional delegation that goes to Pakistan, they don't meet their counterparts in the National Assembly. They all want to meet General Kayani and General Pasha, because they understand that's where the power lies," said Christina Fair of the Georgetown University.

In an interview to National Public Radio, Fair said what Pakistan was doing vis-a-vis the terrorist groups that target India as well as the US, like Lashkar-e-Tayiba, what Pakistan was doing vis-a-vis the Afghan Taliban, those policies were all going to be negotiated by General Kayani and General Pasha.

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Image: Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani
Photographs: Courtesy US Navy
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"It will be very difficult for the US to achieve its objectives vis- a-vis terrorism and nuclear proliferation by alienating the army. But in some sense, that's exactly what it has to do if it wants to secure a future for Pakistan that is democratic and where the civilians have control over the military, not the military having control over the civilians," she said in response to a question.

"They're convinced that Kayani's a democrat, that he means well, all of these things. But the reality is he's a much more complicated figure," she said.

"He was the director of the ISI, which is the all-important intelligence agency, during the time when Pakistan began its U-turn, on its U-turn against the Taliban. So, it's interesting that we herald him now as saviour of Pakistan in some measure, when it was his policies when he was ISI chief that brought about some of the most precipitous conflicts in US-Pakistan relations over Afghanistan," Fair said.


Image: (From Left) US Navy Adm Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and US Navy Rear Adm Scott Van Buskirk, commander of Carrier Strike Group 9, talk with Pakistani Army Gen Ashfaq Kayani, chief of army staff, and Pakistani Army Major Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha, director general of military operations, on the flight deck aboard USS Abraham Lincoln in the North Arabian Sea
Photographs: Courtesy US Navy
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Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, she said wields very little power.

"His powers were largely stripped after the passage of the 18th Amendment, which took many powers that (former) President (Pervez) Musharraf arrogated to the position of the president, and redistributed them back to the prime minister.

"So, he is constitutionally weakened, but he is also very problematic domestically, because he is absolutely despised and loathed," she said, adding Zardari is not a popular president.

"He is known as Mr Ten Percent. Some would say Mr 110 percent."

"I mean, if you want to get a large infrastructure contract in Pakistan, it is alleged that Mr Zardari will take a negotiation fee," she said.


Image: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari
Photographs: Reuters
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