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Pakistani Army Chief Unhappy Over Treatment Of Musharraf

The army chief in Pakistan, a country with a long history of military coups, has hinted that he's unhappy with the detention of former President and ex-General Pervez Musharraf.

Reuters quotes Gen. Ashfaq Kayani in what Pakistani newspapers described as a veiled reference to the legal troubles dogging Musharraf, who has been placed under house arrest and barred from running for office over treason-related charges.

"In my opinion, it is not merely retribution, but awareness and participation of the masses that can truly end this game of hide-and-seek between democracy and dictatorship," Kayani said in a speech at army headquarters marking Martyr's Day.

As Reuters notes:

"The military has ruled Pakistan for than half of its 66-year history, through coups or from behind the scenes. It sets security and foreign policy, even when civilian governments are in power.

"Current commanders have meddled less in politics, letting civilian governments take the heat for policy failures.

"But Kayani has had an uneasy relationship with civilian leaders, as well as an increasingly interventionist Supreme Court, which has questioned the military's human rights record."

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