Pakistan's powerful army chief confirms retirement
ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistan's powerful army chief General Ashfaq Kayani on Sunday confirmed he would retire next month at the end of his second tenure, ending rumours he would seek to keep a key military role.
Gen Kayani, who oversaw Pakistan's first democratic transfer of power, would retire on Nov 29 in a move likely to be seen as pushing forward the country's development as a democracy.
"It is time for others to carry forward the mission of making Pakistan a truly democratic, prosperous and peaceful country that embodies the finest dreams our founding fathers had envisaged for us," he said in a statement.
Gen Kayani was appointed Chief of the Army Staff in 2007 and was given an additional three-year term in 2010. Pakistan's army chief is considered the most powerful man in the country, commanding a force of around 600,000 and guiding policy in defence, as well as in foreign and home affairs.