A Westernized, chain-smoking spy could soon become the most powerful man in Pakistan.
Pervez Musharraf could hardly be flattered to think why some people are so eager for him to win Pakistan's Oct. 6 presidential vote. It's because he'll have to step down as armed forces chief before he's sworn in—as he promised just before the Supreme Court decided last week to let him run again. The general must know how desperately Pakistan's military needs a full-time commander, especially after he's spent months too busy fighting for his political life to give the job his proper attention. So Musharraf is widely believed to have chosen a successor at last: Lt. Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani, the former director general of the military's powerful spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Although Kiyani has always kept a low public profile, people who have worked closely with him speak highly of his abilities—more highly in some cases than his boss might like.