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Saturday, May 2, 2009

General Kayani among world’s most influential people

Friday, 01 May, 2009 04:13 PM PST
NEW YORK: General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Chief of staff of the Pakistan Army, has been named in a list of 100 most influential people in the world by Time, a leading American magazine.

The list also includes international figures like US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Markel and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Among women leaders are: American First Lady Michelle Obama; US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Saudi Arabia's first woman minister Nora al-Faiz; Republican Party's vice presidential candidate in 2008, Sarah Palin; and an Afghan woman activist Surraya Pakzad.

The only military leader figuring in the list is Gen. David Mckiernan, commander of the US-led coalition troops in Afghanistan.

The annual Time 100 list was published in the latest issue of Time magazine which hit the news-stands on Friday.

Also on the list are a number of professionals in various fields, including the Indian musician, A. R. Rahman.

Gen. Kayani, 57, who is placed at No. 19 on the list-- a step ahead of President Obama -- is Admiral Mike Mullen, the top military office' of the United State.

In a write up, Admiral Mullen, the chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said of Gen. Kayani, ‘Here is a man with a plan, a leader who knows where he wants to go. He seemed to understand the nature of the extremist threat inside Pakistan, recognized that his army wasn't ready to meet that threat and had already started working up solutions.’

‘So far he's done everything he told me he would do. He said he would provide the Frontier Corps with material support and strong leaders. He did it. He said he would send more Pakistani army troops to the northwest border region. He sent nearly 2,000. He said he would use those troops to go after alQaeda and extremist groups in Bajur and the Swat Valley. They have mounted several operations in just the past few months.’

‘There's much more to do, of course. But I also think it's important to look at what Kayani hasn't done. For starters, he hasn't let the army meddle in politics. Kayani helped foster a peaceful outcome to last year's constitutional crisis, but he did it in a way that was totally in keeping with his military responsibilities.’

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