The other General Kiyani

An angry retired general on television

Lieutenant-General (retd) Jamshed Gulzar Ahmed Kiyani, who served as a corps commander of the Pakistani Army under General Pervez Musharraf had a lot to say about his former chief. And none of it charitable. General Kiyani has joined the ranks of a number of former general officers at the head of an ‘ex-servicemen’s movement’ against General Musharraf. Here are two of his recent TV appearances: first, on PTV’s Live with Talat, and a second, more beans-out-of-the-bag one on GEO TV’s Meray Mutabiq show with Shahid Masood (via UB). The latter is 90 minutes long, but is worth watching in full. (alternative link, report).

In the early stages of the interview with Dr Masood, he boasts that a Pakistani general is far superior to an Indian one. And then he blames the top leadership of the Pakistani army for the “debacles” in East Pakistan and Kargil. He points out that the Pakistani military leadership did not expect the “intense response” from the Indian side, that used air power and ‘state-of-the-art’ Bofors howitzers (when the latter were at least 15 years old in 1999). On the other hand, he does admit that “you can’t dictate terms to the enemy” and admits that the fighting was done by young Pakistani army personnel—that ‘mujahideen’ fig-leaf being fully dead.

While General Kiyani comes out as a harsh critic of General Musharraf, he is more sympathetic to Nawaz Sharif. He first absolves Nawaz Sharif as having knowledge of the Kargil operation, but then goes on the describe a meeting of leading figures where Sartaj Aziz, the foreign minister, opposed it on the grounds that it would be diplomatically indefensible, and General Majid, the minister of Kashmir and Northern Areas grilled the Rawalpindi corps commander on whether the army had the logistics capability to support the offensive. Mr Nawaz Sharif himself is quoted as saying that he would support it as long as the going was good, but would ditch them if things fouled up.

General Kiyani calls for an impartial closed-down inquiry into the Kargil debacle. It remains to be seen if Mr Nawaz Sharif himself would want that.

6 thoughts on “The other General Kiyani”

  1. Nawaz Sharif knows more than he’s letting on. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, or held in high-esteem, Sharif decided to throw Musharraf and the military under the bus when things went arye in Kargil.

  2. Pakistani generals are much more interesting than Indian Army generals – in a zoo exhibit kind of way. I’m surprised the fool settled for simply “superior” and didn’t actually equate a Pak Army general with 5 Indian Army generals. Another 6-12 months of oil over $100 and the Pak Army will be back in the saddle – economic breakdown leading to a “law and order situation”. And we’ll have to deal again with diplomats of this incredible caliber. Not that the current lot is exactly covering itself in glory. Groan!

  3. In one view, Gen Kiyani is right, Pak Generals are superior than Indian counterparts; they can command an army as well as govern a country.

  4. Invalid,

    You’ve chosen an appropriate nickname. Look how well they’ve governed the country.

  5. No more sarcasm. I can’t stop it sometimes.

    My nickname has to be read as “in valid” not as “invalid”

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