Islamabad, May 24 : Amid speculations that in the wake of his confrontation with Zardari House, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf might use his powers guaranteed under Article 58(2)(b) to dissolve the National Assembly, ex-Army generals have reposed faith in Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, calling him a true professional soldier who won't bow to Musharraf's dictates.
They are of the view that Gen Kayani won't extend the Army's support to Musharraf in carrying out his mission of dismissing the democratic government to once again impose Army Rule.
Former COAS Gen Aslam Beg said that keeping in view the actions and directives of the incumbent Army chief, he did not see the Army supporting President Musharraf to remove the government and dissolve the National Assembly.
Beg said Gen Kayani was a professional soldier, who has "de-politicised the Army", besides ensuring the institution's neutrality during the last general elections, which according to Beg, were to be rigged by Musharraf. "But, it could not happen because of the Army chief," The News quoted Beg as saying.
Beg added that he did not see any change in the Army chief's posture.
Referring to his experience, he said any sign of the Army supporting Musharraf at this stage would earn a bad name for the institution. When asked if the President could exercise his power under the Article 58(2)(b) without Army's support, Beg said, "Yes he can but such an order would not be implemented because of the neutral Army and powerful parliament."
Beg said Musharraf would be cut to a sorry figure if he took any such extreme step. "He would not dare do that," the ex-Army chief concluded.
Similar views were expressed by another retired general Jamshed Gulzar Kayani. He said personally knew the Army chief and could vouch for his professionalism and neutrality. Musharraf's exit is a must for the future of Pakistan, he said and added that the next three-four days were very important to judge the Army's future role.
According to the paper, Army chief' would be vital for future political stability in the country, as things were fast approaching towards a final showdown between the recently-elected popular political forces and President Pervez Musharraf.
As the battle lines become clearer between the two sides, amid growing apprehensions in the Zardari House that President Pervez Musharraf may opt for some drastic action, including the dissolution of the National Assembly, to further perpetuate his rule, the role of the Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani becomes critical, it added.