The latest issue of Time magazine has announced its top hundred list of most influential personalities titled; Leaders & Revolutionaries in which General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Chief of Staff of the Pakistan Army has been placed at No 19. According to The Peninsula, Qatar's influential daily's news report titled Kayani pips Obama in Time magazine list: "Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani appears to have more influence than US President Barack Obama, if Time magazine's top hundred list is anything to go by. In its latest issue, the magazine has published life sketches of 102 people; General Kiyani is placed at No 19 while President Obama figures one place behind at No 20." General Kayani is in mixed company, at No 6 is Mexican druglord Joaqun Guzmn. The list also includes international figures like French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Markel, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Prominent female leaders, who figure in the list, include American First Lady Michelle Obama; US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Saudi Arabia's first woman minister Nora al-Faiz; Republican Party's vice presidential candidate in 2008, Sarah Palin; and an Afghan woman activist Surraya Pakzad. The only other military leader figuring in the list is General David McKiernan, commander of the US-led coalition troops in Afghanistan. Chairman US Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Admiral Mike Mullen, who is a frequent visitor to Islamabad under the testing times, has penned the sketch on General Kayani. He writes: "I don't remember all the details of my first meeting with General Ashfaq Kayani, the Pakistan Army's Chief of Staff. But I do remember thinking; here is a man with a plan, a leader who knows where he wants to go. He seemed to understand the nature of the extremist threat inside Pakistan... and had already started working up solutions." Website in its video section explains why the publication chose General Kayani as the most influential person even ahead of Obama, stating the importance assigned to Pakistan Army in its cleanup operation against terrorists. Last year, Indian Chief of Army Staff, General Deepak Kapoor had showered praise on General Kayani in an interview with CNN-IBN programme Devil's Advocate, stating: "I think General Kayani is a professional soldier. He has gone through the mill and came up as a capable officer. I think he would be able to handle the Pakistan Army professionally." Others in the Indian media have not been that generous. Rajiv Dogra, a former ambassador and the last Indian consul general in Karachi, in his article Why General Kiyani did not mount the tiger, published in the backdrop of the lawyer's movement to reinstate Chief Justice Iftikhar, declares that General Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani, may have missed a historic opportunity to act and this may see him end up as a mere footnote in the country's turbulent history. Had he decided to stage a coup in the wake of the just-concluded lawyers' agitation for reinstating the judges sacked in 2007, he would have become the first Pakistani general in this millennium to do so. The other reason why General Kiyani may end up as a footnote in Pakistan's history is the fact that no one remembers mere generals. They are feared as long as they are in power. But once out of office they wither fast, like an autumn leaf, out of people's memory. Adding sarcasm, he comments that General Kiyani need not despair. In Pakistan, history has a habit of repeating itself frequently. So destiny may still await Kiyani at another turn, on another midnight. On April 14, 2009, Retired Indian Colonel Harish Puri, wrote a highly derogatory "Open letter to General Kayani", which was prominently displayed by a Pakistani English daily. Amir Mir, who writes for The Gulf News, in his Op-Ed, Who is General Ashfaq Kiyani? sings praise for the chief: "Military circles say the rise of General Kiyani through the ranks of the Pakistan Army has been rapid, if not extraordinary. They point out that this is the first time that the son of a non-commissioned officer (NCO) heads the Pakistan Army. His humble background as the son of an NCO has endeared him to the junior ranks of the army. Incidentally, General Kiyani happened to be the only intelligence chief who did not file an affidavit before the Supreme Court against Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Chaudhry while defending Musharraf in the presidential reference filed against the top judge." It is intriguing that only a week earlier, Pakistan Army and the ISI were in the eye of the storm of "not doing enough" and playing "double games"; now President Obama is all praise for the Pakistan Army, while calling the civilian dispensation "fragile". The timing of the top-100 list may be a coincidence, but there appears to be a definite attempt by vested interests to drive a wedge between the army and the government, especially at the critical juncture of it being engaged in a major operation to clear Swat, Buner and its neighbourhood of miscreants. Sedition that the Pakistan Army has relegated India from being its "enemy number one" is being construed by some analysts as a betrayal of the people, but has thankfully been refuted by the news of Indian war-games near Punjab border and other actions targeting Pakistan. Support for Pakistan Army has also come from an unlikely quarter; in an interview to The Washington Times, Prince Turki al-Faisal, former ambassador to Washington, who headed the Saudi intelligence service for 25 years, especially during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, declared that Pakistan can survive the Taliban threat provided the military remains intact. The writer is a political and defence analyst