Pakistan national interest, people's wishes first Kayani tells NATO

Published: September 16, 2011
Pakistan's Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani (R) listens to U.S. Admiral Mike Mullen at the start of the NATO MC conference in Seville September 16, 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS

Pakistan's Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani (R) listens to U.S. Admiral Mike Mullen at the start of the NATO MC conference in Seville September 16, 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS

SEVILLE: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani said on Friday that Pakistan had a sovereign right to formulate a policy in accordance with its own national interests and wishes of its people.

The COAS made these remarks at a meeting of the NATO Chiefs of Defence that was held in Seville city of Spain.

Reiterating Islamabad’s resolve to fight militancy and extremism, Kayani underlined that Pakistan has a sovereign right to formulate its policies in line with it own national interests and the wishes of its people.

He recalled Pakistan’s role in the war on terror, highlighting the sacrifices made to fight terrorism as well as reiterating Pakistan’s expectations, in terms of support, from the rest of the world.

Earlier, the COAS met US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and French Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Edouard Guillaud on the sidelines of the NATO session.

Earlier on Thursday Spain had conferred the country’s highest military honour, The Grand Cross of Military Merit award, upon General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.

The award was in recognition of Pakistan Army’s contribution in the fight against terrorism.

Kayani doubts Afghanistan ready for troops pullout

Pakistan’s army chief said he doubted neighbouring Afghanistan would be ready for international troops to leave by 2014 as planned.

“Frankly, I have my doubts,” General Ashfaq Kayani told Reuters on the sidelines of the NATO Military Committee conference, adding that he thought an alternative deadline might be possible.

“No date can be a final date,” he said.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force is training Afghan security forces and is due to fully withdraw from the war-torn central Asian country by 2014.

NATO considers Pakistan to be a key regional player and Afghanistan’s security situation was on the agenda at the US-led alliance’s two-day conference in Seville.

A NATO spokesman said the alliance thought the gradual withdrawal of international forces was moving ahead on time.

“There are encouraging signs of progress as far as transition at this stage is concerned,” Brigadier General Massimo Panizzi told journalists.

Taliban rebels have recently, however, managed to attack several well-guarded targets in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Kayani added that he thought relations between the US and Pakistan were satisfactory.

“Relations are good. They are improving,” he said.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • Mirza
    Sep 16, 2011 - 11:59PM

    You want to know the wishes of Pakistani people? Go and help the poor victims of floods in Sind and not the NATO members. Recommend

  • Sep 17, 2011 - 12:25AM

    Pakistan’s army chief said he doubted neighbouring Afghanistan would be ready for international troops to leave by 2014 as planned.

    What? Now I thought we were all in agreement that we wanted NATO out of Afghanistan, and Afghanistan firmly in our sphere of influence as soon as possible! Now you want them to stay on?


  • faraz
    Sep 17, 2011 - 12:40AM

    How about giving some money from the 500 billion defence budget to the poor peasants who have lost everything in the floods


  • pak patriot
    Sep 17, 2011 - 12:44AM

    Pakistan army already doing relief work in Sindh. just check web plz.


  • Humayun
    Sep 17, 2011 - 1:03AM

    @ Mirza, you want the army to defend the borders,fight extremism and militancy or you want them to do the other stuff which the civilian govt is suppose to do.these things amaze me that we want the army to do everything for us but when they are close to the coup or actually do that then we are like “Go back to the barracks”. I am not an army apologist.this is a fact which we need to understand,


  • asma riaz@london
    Sep 17, 2011 - 1:30AM

    Zabardast-well said. Hope this is not short lived statement and pevails across all political parties.


  • Jameel
    Sep 17, 2011 - 1:44AM

    Kiyani doesn’t look in good mood in pic.Recommend

  • Blithe
    Sep 17, 2011 - 2:38AM

    When is his extension coming to an end?
    The sooner the better!


  • Sep 17, 2011 - 2:40AM

    @Nadir El-Edroos:
    Could you please enlighten us all with the source of what you wrote above? That better be a military source too.


  • Truth Seeker
    Sep 17, 2011 - 2:48AM

    @Nadir El-Edroos:
    That is the only way to milk American Cow.


  • Babloo
    Sep 17, 2011 - 4:58AM

    All so called establsihment contrived policies in so called supreme national interests have done the ultimate and maximum harm to Pakistan in last 60 years or did I get it all wrong and Ayub, Yahya, Tikka, Zia, Musharraf and Kayani are the heroes of the great Republic ?


  • Gul Khan
    Sep 17, 2011 - 6:13AM

    When Pakistan army does the job of civilian government this is always you who shouts why army is interfering in Government’s job, but when our army meets with its counterpart to solve the problems you are saying something else. What a double standard. Shame on you.


  • Maria
    Sep 17, 2011 - 7:49AM

    @Mirza: I see you on several posts saying negative things about Pakistan- that only tells me you are an Indian troll who has nothing better to do than show his obsession. Just so you know, people in Pakistan respect Kayani and admire the way he is standing up for national interests. As for our army’s work in Sind, it is ongoing and we are proud of the Pak military who always comes to help in times of natural disasters.


  • Sep 17, 2011 - 8:45AM

    I wrote a blog on exectly this topic on December 8th 2010. I am so glad to see the same view coming from the top army command!

  • Khurram
    Sep 17, 2011 - 9:17AM

    @ General Kayani: “Pakistan had a sovereign right to formulate a policy in accordance with its own national interests and wishes of its people.” General Saheb these completely irrelevent blusters are our basic problem first of all we never ever were sovereign nation at least not in reality as far as I could see we have never acted as one, rather always worked as retainers of some power whether it is the US or China. Secondly regarding formulating a policy, we do not have one now nor we ever had one in the past the capability to formulate a long term policy for the benefit of our national interests and wishes of the people. Our only policy has been since the very inception of my country, that is also our Achilles Heel, is our obsession to beat India. You may drape this flawed thinking with any guise give any name you like it would never do any good for my country.Recommend

  • Beta
    Sep 17, 2011 - 9:19AM

    Kayani first saying wishes of the people first whom as for as I know don’t want US presence here, then he takes the U turn by saying he doubts 2014 withdrawal of NATO, double tongued.


  • Mariam b
    Sep 17, 2011 - 9:41AM

    Bravo General .. Keep Going


  • Sep 17, 2011 - 9:47AM

    The award was in recognition of Pakistan Army’s contribution in the fight against terrorism.

    Wish the West somehow includes people of Pakistan in the category too… this lot might improve as well.


  • XYZ
    Sep 17, 2011 - 9:52AM

    “Jameel ; Kiyani doesn’t look in good mood in pic.”

    How would u feel if u r the army chief and your country is not under your control, half taken by Talibans, everyday bombed by Talibans/drones live everyday under the threat of Talibans or sanctions .. half the country under 6 feet of water and you ate all the all the budget ..and face public anger ..


  • Straight_Talk
    Sep 17, 2011 - 10:05AM

    Kayani and the whole of Pakistan including the government feels so confident against the US because of the Chinese assurance. I personally feel Pakistan is underestimating the US and over-relying on China. The bottom line still remains that Pakistan alone cannot challenge the US. Forget challenging it cannot even think of a hostile US in peace time. But it is challenging non-the-less and a war-tired US is not in a mood for escalation. These incidents will have a lasting impact on US psyche and Pakistan should prepare for that. When you assert so blatantly with loose pants you do not leave yourself with the option to run back to safety without looking like a joker. Pakistan is surely getting into a situation where retreat looks increasingly humiliating if not disastrous.


  • Akbar Khan
    Sep 17, 2011 - 6:32PM

    Well respected SIR. No matter how much corrupt politicians demonize military, Pakistan military can still make statements, in foreign ARENA, against the wishes of western dignitaries as oppose to western puppets in Government.

    As a Patriotic PAKISTANI Citizen, I would suggest to PAKISTANI military to focus more on USA presence in AFGHANISTAN than anything else as they have made clear, recently, that AMERICAN intend to violate PAKISTANI sovereignty again. This time PAKISTANI nation does not want their MILITARY to fail……Do to them as what a sovereign nation would do to intruder.

    May Allah Bless You all.Recommend

  • Doctor
    Sep 18, 2011 - 1:50AM

    @ Humayun, Maria, and others criticizing Mirza’s comment – first, we must avoid this Pakistani tendency to call anyone “Indian” when we disagree with them. It’s highly immature and unproductive.

    Second, our dear Armed Forces do not have a good history of any of the things you claim they are supposed to do: Defend Pakistan, Win Wars, Beat terrorists. Which of those 3 things has the army done? They have lost every war, they are losing to the terrorists. Give me a break that they do things in the best interest of Pakistan. The only best interest they serve is their own.Recommend

  • Arindom
    Sep 18, 2011 - 3:16AM

    Big Question: Does Army’s interest also mean Pakistani interest?


  • Sep 18, 2011 - 11:10AM

    Kiani tried to balance the award of NATO military cross.


  • BruteForce
    Sep 18, 2011 - 2:07PM

    Operation in North Waziristan will never happen. NATO will vent out its anger after 2014. That is for sure! What prevents NATO to Sanction the heck out of Pakistan after 2014?


  • Chilli
    Sep 18, 2011 - 2:53PM

    I don’t believe it. Lets wait for the next Wikileaks for real conversation. Welcome drone policy is clear indication of how strong our forces are.


  • Fawad
    Sep 18, 2011 - 4:25PM


    What is the guarantee that you will get the true report from Wikileaks. For every media report (except the one based on a public event with many witnesses), there is always a probability of being True, Partially True or False.

    It is just like the probabilistic nature of events in Quantum Physics!


  • Abdul wahab
    Oct 18, 2011 - 12:10PM

    Most of the Indian trolls over here are saying things against the General and there is a Character degrading attempt going on. To all of indians, WE ARE FOND OF GENERAL KAYANI, we trust him to whatever he says coz we know they have given many sacrifices for us. We acknowledge the 3000 army martyers who fought and were not sitting comfortably in their rooms like us. We understand 2000 army soldiers became disabled with many young recruits who were abt to get married or recently got married. We understand the family members, the mothers whose sons laid their lives for their homeland. We share their grief equally and bow our heads for the honourable.
    We respect our army and we trust them with all our heart.


  • Oct 19, 2011 - 10:12AM

    Even then we should be vigilant about kiyani’s behaviour as I have the opinion there is no
    terrorism in the world its just i resentment to American policies.


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