Pakistan plans major reshuffle in army


Islamabad : Pakistan plans to carry out a major reshuffle in the Army after the presidential elections slated for next month, a daily reported here Monday.

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Notwithstanding whether President Pervez Musharraf will quit as Army chief or not after the country’s general elections later this year, the Pakistani Army will get a new Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and a Vice-Chief of Army Staff in October, ‘The News’ quoted sources as saying.

This would facilitate the promotion of two Lieutenant Generals to the rank of four-star Generals while seven Major Generals would also be elevated to the rank of the Lieutenant General in the process, according to the unnamed sources.

In fact, the two key appointments would have significant importance with regard to the future planning and welfare of the armed forces, they said. The incumbent CJCSC General Ehsan-ul-Haq and VCOAS General Ehsan Salim Hayat have already expressed their desire to relinquish their posts.

According to the sources, three senior most three-star generals might also be considered for promotion “if seniority becomes the consideration for the elevation”.

They are Lt General Khalid Ahmad Kidwai currently Director General of Strategic Plans Division (SPD), Lt General Ashfaq Pervez Kiani, the Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and Lt General Tariq Majeed, the Commander of 10-Corps.

“The President has not ruled out the principle of seniority so far in the case of service appointments and if he goes by the book, the choice would be Lt General Kiani as the Chairman and Lt General Majeed as the VCOAS,” the sources were quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said Islamabad will not allow troops from any country to operate in its territory and was capable of dealing with terrorist elements.

“We will never allow any country to violate our sovereignty and integrity,” he said.

Aziz said Pakistan was cooperating with the world in fighting terrorism and believed in strong coordination among the countries. “We believe in intelligence-sharing, cooperation and coordination with friendly countries that are committed to fighting this scourge”.

Referring to the statements of US Presidential candidates about attacking Pakistan and holy places of Muslims, Aziz told Al-Arabia channel that Pakistan has reacted to these statements strongly. He said no Muslim country will tolerate the attack on the Muslim’s holy places.

“Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are very close strategic partners and we will never sit back if anybody try to harm Saudi Arabia or holy places”.

On the reports of presence of Al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan he said “we will do whatever it takes to prevent terrorism. But we cannot and will not accept the presence of any foreign troops in Pakistan.”

“If we will share credible, quantifiable and identifiable intelligence, then Pakistan will act, we have the capacity and capability to act.”