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Pakistan's army chief hands over power
General Pervez Ashfaq Kayani, who pushed the Pakistani Taliban out of Swat Valley, has formally retired after six years as Pakistan's chief of army staff. He passed the baton at a ceremony in Rawalpindi on Friday to General Raheel Sharif, who formally became the head of the South Asian nation's military. The military is Pakistan's best funded and most influential institution and has controlled the coup-prone nation for more than half of its 66-year history. Kayani took office in 2007, after being appointed by the former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf. Upon taking the job, he frequently travelled to conflict areas to meet his men who were fighting and dying in large numbers. But like his predecessor, he also struggled to counter the threat of armed groups in the country’s lawless tribal areas.
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