Reports: Pakistan’s Army Chief Fights to Keep Job

Posted June 16th, 2011 at 4:30 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. media report the head of Pakistan's army, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, is fighting to save his post in the face of growing pressure from within the military to reduce ties with Washington following last month's U.S. raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

Articles in “The New York Times” and “The Washington Post” say the support within the military for the general is eroding and that he could take the fall in the aftermath of the Abbottabad raid, which has plunged Pakistan into a downward spiral.

The articles say that top generals and officers, who feel humiliated by the May 2 secret operation, are pressing Kayani to take a stronger stand against Washington, including severing the U.S.-Pakistani military alliance.

Pakistan has also pressured the U.S. to end its drone strikes in the country's lawless tribal region along the Afghan border. Pakistani leaders say they are a violation of the country's sovereignty, but Pakistani intelligence is believed to provide the U.S. information for the strikes.

Traditionally, the Pakistani military has been beyond criticism and held in high regard because it is often seen as the last line of defense against threats — both foreign and domestic.

But following the U.S. raid into sovereign Pakistani territory, which the military did not try to stop or even monitor, the now constant attacks are taking their toll on the armed forces.

The articles in U.S. media suggest that if attacks from various quarters continue, the military may begin a push back in Pakistan, which has experienced four periods of military dictatorship.