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News :: International
Negroponte/Rosen meetings with General Kiani Nov 2007
01 Jan 2008
JONATHAN MANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: There's something to watch for in Pakistani politics. Civilian leaders appoint a military commander, then the military commander overthrows the civilians. That's how Pervez Musharraf got his job, and he wasn't the first.
Aired November 28, 2007 - 12:00 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

Jonathan Mann gives us some insight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JONATHAN MANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: There's something to watch for in Pakistani politics. Civilian leaders appoint a military commander, then the military commander overthrows the civilians. That's how Pervez Musharraf got his job, and he wasn't the first.

Now Musharraf has appointed General Ashfaq Kiani as his commander. So Pakistan is now waiting to see what it will get -- continuity or a coup?

The Pakistani army is by far the most powerful institution in the country. Politicians serve at its pleasure. So if Kiani really controls the military, he will have a bigger influence on Musharraf's future as civilian president than the constitution or anyone else in the country.

Washington knows it. When the deputy secretary of state, John Negroponte, visited Pakistan earlier this month, he met with President Musharraf once, and reportedly three times with General Kiani.

Kiani also has links to another key figure, Benazir Bhutto. He served as deputy military secretary under Bhutto when she was prime minister, back in the '90s. When Musharraf and Bhutto began negotiations on power sharing his year, Kiani was reportedly a go- between.

Musharraf trusts his successor with important jobs. Kiani's career has been built on that. But outsiders say Kiani's loyalty depends on how much support Musharraf can hold on to from the generals and his people.

At the ceremony in Rawalpindi, Musharraf handed over the ceremonial officer stick that they like to call the baton of command. It is a tradition that bait dates back to Roman times, but it's a telling symbol of power today in Pakistan. Now General Kiani has it, a remind that the pivotal figure to watch isn't necessarily the president.

Back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0711/28/ywt.01.html

"The real choice we face is not between Musharraf and a return to an effective democratic system, but between Musharraf and the possible collapse of Pakistan," Rosen wrote in a letter to the editor appearing in this week's edition of the Jewish Daily Forward. In addition to Musharraf, he met with General Ashfaq Kiyani, the deputy chief of staff who is expected to take over for Musharraf as head of the army, as well as ministers and intelligence officials.
source: U.S. Jewish leader Rosen visits Pakistan to support Musharraf, haaretz
Last update - 21:02 26/11/2007
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/928287.html

"When Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte visited Pakistan last weekend, he met once with President Pervez Musharraf, for two hours. But before he left town, he held three meetings with a lesser-known figure: General Ashfaq Kiyani, the deputy army chief.

The attention paid to Kiyani has affirmed speculation here that he will soon be chosen as Musharraf’s successor as head of the army, and, as such, will be a vital ally for the Bush administration during a time of crisis.

Kiyani has working-class roots, having been raised in farming communities in the Punjab, sometimes called the country’s “martial belt” because many teenage boys from the province enter the military, lacking other economic opportunities. He was educated at the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan."
source: Security Forces Shooting To Kill In Pakistan
December 28, 2007
http://tenpercent.wordpress.com/2007/12/28/security-forces-shooting-to-k/

more here: Negroponte/Rosen visits to Pakistan November 2007
by haaretz/VOA Tuesday, Jan. 01, 2008 at 2:29 PM
http://cleveland.indymedia.org/news/2008/01/28152.php

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