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Kayani Mulled Toppling Zardari Who Had Named Successor

PTI 01 Dec 2010, 17:12:51 IST
London/Washington, Dec 1: The Pakistani Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani had mulled toppling Asif Ali Zardari and the civilian President had even made preparations for a possible  coup or assassination, leaked US diplomatic cables have said.

The latest tranche of WikiLeaks published in the media has revealed that Zardari had made extensive preparations in case of his own assassination and instructed his son Bilawal to name his sister, Faryal Talpur, as president.

The shadowy conspiracies and the tensions between the President Zardari and the powerful army has come out as Kayani is quoted as telling the US Ambassador during a March 2009 meeting that he "might however reluctantly" pressure Zardari to resign.

Kayani was quoted as saying that he might support Asfandyar Wali Khan, leader of the Awami National Party as the new President-- and not Zardari's arch foe Nawaz Sharif. The powerful Army Chief revealed that he had little time for the leader of the opposition Sharif.

"Kayani made it clear regardless how much he dislikes Zardari, he distrusted Nawaz Sharif even more", the US Ambassador Anne Patterson wrote.

The cables revealed that the US vice president told British Prime Minister Gordon Brown that Zardari had told him "Kayani will take me out".

'Guardian' quoting the leaked documents said, Zardari is frank about the strength of the Taliban - "I'm sorry to say this but we are not winning" the war against extremists he told US Vice-President Joe Biden.

"I am not Benazir, and I know it," he told US ambassador Anne Patterson after his wife's death. PTI