Washington, Mar 14 : The new Pakistan COAS (chief of army staff) Gen Ashfaq Kayani is a "crucial personality" in maintaining stability in his country after the "political demise" of President Pervez Musharraf, a column published in the Washington Post today has said.
Quoting Admiral William Fallon, chief of the Central Command who resigned this week because of differences with the Bush administration, columnist David Ignatius wrote that Kayani sees the Pakistan Army as a "political force" and is working to rebuild the Army's professionalism and stop Al Qaeda in the Tribal Areas.
Ignatius who travelled to Pakistan in January, further said in the column that Kayani plans a different approach, more in keeping with America's new ideas about counterinsurgency.
"In contrast with the Musharraf years I would expect the army gets a lot more attention now because the guy who's in charge only has one job. I'm encouraged that he seems to understand the necessity of doing counterinsurgency," wrote Ignatius.
Noting that Musharraf tried to subdue Tribal Areas by marching troops in and ultimately was forced to accept a "humiliating truce" with the rebels, Ignatius quoted Fallon as having told him: "Kayani knows that you can only do so much with military force. To contain an insurgency, you need to take care of the population through economic and social development. There's a fair amount of sensitivity to a very visible US footprint inside the country."