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Outgoing army chief Gen Raheel pays farewell visits to president, PM

The outgoing Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif paid farewell visits to President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad on Monday, Radio Pakistan reported.

The army chief is set to retire on Nov 29, which is when the new army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa will take over as COAS.

PM Nawaz and President Mamnoon lauded Gen Raheel’s valuable services as army chief and wished him the best for his post-retirement life.

Earlier, Gen Raheel told journalists that he would like to dedicate his post-retirement life to the welfare of the families of slain soldiers.
Gen Raheel’s legacy

Back in 2013 when Gen Kayani announced that he would not take an extension for a second time, Gen Raheel was not among the favourites in the race for army chief. Even after he beat all the odds to become the chief, his detractors continued to doubt him saying he lacked intelligence and operations background.

But he did not allow those shortcomings to become a handicap and proved everyone wrong.

The high point in his tenure was the start of Operation Zarb-i-Azb in North Waziristan against the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan in June 2014, something from which his predecessor shied away fearing blowback. The operation is now in its last stages. He is also credited for action against militancy in Karachi and partially restoring calm in the city.

Gen Sharif has all along been supportive of the government, except for a statement at the corps commanders’ conference last November when he expressed reservations over civilian administration’s governance. The comment presented the spectacle of a row between the civilian and military leadership. He has, nevertheless, maintained strong influence over the government’s foreign and national security policies.

The general garnered unprecedented popularity among the general public and on social media.

Earlier this year, mysterious banners calling on Gen Sharif to “take over” the government popped up in various cities across the country. Most recently, banners were spotted in Rawalpindi which urged him to contest the general elections in 2018. The army denied having any connection to the banners.
The new army chief

PM Nawaz on Saturday named the new military command, appointing Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa as the chief of army staff.

Gen Bajwa has extensive experience of handling affairs in Kashmir and the northern areas of the country.

Read more: Ex-Indian army chief praises Pakistan’s incoming chief Gen Bajwa

Despite his extensive involvement with Kashmir and northern areas, he is said to consider extremism a bigger threat for the country than India.

courtesy: dawn news



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