By Tim Johnson, McClatchy
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — As President Pervez Musharraf grows more unpopular in Pakistan , his newly named successor as army chief is seeking to distance the institution from the Musharraf regime and pull back its virtual occupation of the top senior ranks of civilian ministries and state corporations.
Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani , who was named to the top military job in late November, took two steps this week. First, he barred all senior military officers from meeting directly with Musharraf without prior approval and prohibited officers from having any direct involvement in politics. Second, he recalled many army officers from civilian job assignments.