Pakistan former intel. chief named to replace Musharraf as army head

October 2, 2007 15:43

A golf-loving former spymaster who enjoys good relations with Western military officials was named Tuesday to replace President Gen. Pervez Musharraf as Pakistan's powerful army chief after weekend presidential elections. Lt.-Gen. Ashfaq Kayani will get a fourth star and take up the post of vice chief of army staff Monday, a military statement said. He will take over the top job when Musharraf vacates it, it said. Musharraf, who seized power in a 1999 coup and became a close US ally against al-Qaida, has vowed to step down as army chief and restore Pakistan to civilian rule - provided he secures a new five-year presidential term in a vote by lawmakers on Saturday. He has said he will leave the military before he is sworn in for a new term as president. His current mandate expires November 15.

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