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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Kayani boots out Mush generalsPasha is new ISI chief
Afzal Khan writes from Islamabad
In a major shake-up, Gen Ashfaque Pervez Kayani, army chief, has replaced several generals regarded as Musharraf loyalists.
Kayani has named a new head of the all-powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), changed four of the nine corps commanders and appointed a new chief of the general staff (CGS), besides filling important positions in the general headquarters.
The shake-up is the most wide-ranging since General Kayani took over andperhaps even more significant since Pervez Musharraf stepped down as thecountry's controversial President.
The move came within hours of the promotion of seven majors-general with a number of them becoming the direct beneficiaries of the reshuffle.
The most significant appointment, even though long-expected, is in the ISI where Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha as the new director-general replaces Musharraf's closest aide and relative, Lt-Gen Nadeem Taj,who has been posted as commander of the 30 Corps in Gujranwala.
The ISI is technically supposed to be under the Prime Minister while the DG, Military Intelligence, is answerable to the army chief. Musharraf exercised control over all three military and civil intelligence agencies.
Pasha has, for the past over two years, been overseeing operations in the tribal areas and parts of the NWFP, a task performed by General Kayani prior to his elevation as the army chief.
In his capacity as the director-general of military operations, Pasha was directly responsible for the launching of all major operations in Fata and Swat.
Nadeem Taj had perhaps the shortest tenure in the ISI. He worked as Musharraf's trouble-shooter for several political and strategic assignments.
Unlike Kayani, he also filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court against deposed chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.
Ironically, it was General Taj who, on behalf of General Kayani, was instrumental in persuading Musharraf to resign.
Meanwhile, former SSG commander, Lt-Gen Tahir Mahmood, has been given control of the crucial 10 Corps in Rawalpindi.
Lt-Gen Shahid Iqbal has been made commander of the 5 Corps in Karachi and Lt-Gen Muhammad Yusuf has been given the charge of the 31 Corps in Bahawalpur.
Lt-Gen Mustafa has been appointed the chief of the general staff in place of Lt-Gen Salahuddin Satti.

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