On July 22 Pakistans Prime Minister Yousaf Reza Gilani appeared on TV screens to address the nation for the announcement that his government had extended Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayanis term by another three years. His speech was shorter than the time it took for recitation of the Holy Quran and the national anthem. But even in this terse, short mumble, he managed to convey the impression of being utterly confused and lacking in confidence. And to think that just last week, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had told Pakistani journalists that extension or otherwise of the Army Chiefs term was Pakistans internal matter and the US didnt wish to interfere with it. Now, now, if it was such an internal affair, why would she need to comment on it? And pray, what does she think of the transit trade agreement to benefit India in the signing ceremony of which she stood guard right behind the signing ministers? Wasnt that an internal matter of Pakistan too, and if so, what was she doing there? Another country acting so blatantly to influence the governments decisions on matters as sensitive as this happensonly in Pakistan. This is the country where a democratically-elected government has capitulated to the Army Chief to keep itself in power for the next three years. The official spiel on the extension is quite an amusing read. The extension is a continuation of Mr kayanis leadership in the war against terror in the northwest of the country, it says. Are we to suppose, then, that the militancy would be defeated for sure within the next three years? If not, maybe this Army Chief would have to be given yet another extension? I thought the Army, being the only strong and stable institution in the country, should have been able to withstand retirement or resignation of one officer, regardless of his experience or familiarity with the present state of affairs in the war against terrorism? The US proved this point when President Barack Obama removed the architect of Americas Afghan strategy smack in middle of the same war. We are told the Armys subordination to civilian supremacy is the essence of a democratic government. What do you call a system where the civilian government subordinates to supremacy of the Army, as well as a foreign power? -NASEER AHMAD QAZI, Lahore, July 27.