Kerry-Lugar Bill places US in tussle between Pak army, govt

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Islamabad, Oct. 13 (ANI): The promised 7.5 billion-dollar US aid to Pakistan has placed Washington in the middle of a potential tussle between the Pakistan military and the Zardari government.

The differences between General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and President Asif Ali Zardari arose when the former insisted that the government had failed to notice the anti-military clauses in the Kerry-Lugar Bill, THe New York Times reports.

Earlier, it was being predicted that Pakistan would accept the emergency aid with open arms to save its failing economy, instead, on Kayani's intervention, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was dispatched to Washington to tell Americans that Pakistan would not accept being micromanaged.

According to sources, while General Kayani is pro-democracy, he has a strong dislike for the Zardari government.

"The army is saying privately that despite everything, the army remains the one rigorous, merit-based institution in Pakistan, and if the politicians get their hands on promotions, that will be the end of it," a Pakistani parliamentarian said.

The bill has also placed the Americans in the middle of a potential tussle between Zardari and General Kayani over future army leadership.

The three-year tenure of General Kayani, with whom American commanders say they are enjoying an increasingly good relationship, ends in November 2010.

Zardari might like to appoint his own general, Pakistani politicians say. It is believed that General Kayani would like an extension of tenure.

Kayani's resentment over American intrusions fits neatly with a widespread feeling of anti-Americanism in Pakistan. (ANI)

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