General Asfaq Kayani a heavy smoker and mumbler

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3 Nov 2010
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Bangalore, May 4: General Ashfaq Kiyani, does that name remind you something? Most likely yes, and for those who are unaware, he is the chief of Pakistan's army and thus a very powerful figure in the country.

In a cable sent to Washington, Anne Paterson, the then US Ambassador to Pakistan has presented a very interesting profile of General Kayani. The cable was apparently sent by Patterson in 2009 to clear the decks for Kayani's visit to the US.

The cable which was leaked to Wikileaks and has been accessed by Indian and Pakistani Media says, "An avid golfer, he is President of the Pakistan Golf Association. He smokes heavily and can be difficult to understand as he tends to mumble."

And that apart the Cable also gives an insight into the personal and professional life of Kayani, who can also be dubbed as the most powerful man in Pakistan given the amount of power the country's army enjoys there.

The cable goes on to say:

"General Ashfaq Kayani was born in Punjab in 1952, grew up in a working-class family and is the son of a former junior officer. He was commissioned in the Pakistan Army after graduating from the Pakistan Military Academy in 1971. His long career has included command at every level from Company to Corps.

He has served in key staff positions, to include Military Assistant to the Prime Minister under Benazir Bhutto from 1988-1990, Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), 2000-2003, Director General, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) from 2004-2007, and Vice Chief of Army Staff in 2007.

In November 2007, he became Chief of Army Staff (COAS). He is the only officer ever to have served as both DG-ISI and COAS. His term as DGMO coincided with the intense military standoff with India of 2001-2002.

In interactions with post, Kayani is often direct, frank, and thoughtful. He has fond memories of his IMET training at Fort Leavenworth and values his personal relationships, particularly with US military leaders. Kayani is married and the father of two children, a son and a daughter. "

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