Nawaz Sharif appoints Lt Gen Raheel Sharif as new Pakistan Army Chief

With just a couple of days left for Pakistan`s Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to resign, speculations are rife over who would succeed him.

Updated: Nov 27, 2013, 21:18 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Islamabad: After much delay, Pakistan has finally found the next Army Chief in Lt Gen Raheel Sharif, who will be replacing the outgoing COAS General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, reports said.

Besides promoting Inspector General Training and Evaluation Raheel Sharif as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also selected Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood as the Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee (CJCSC), reported the Dawn.

Also former Pakistani envoy Sherry Rehman confirmed the appointment of the new Army Chief by tweeting.

The news of appointment comes just a couple of days before Kayani will put a full stop to his six-year long stint as Pakistan`s Army Chief when he will resign on Nov 29 as his term will come to an end.

Kayani replaced General Ehsanul Haq when Genral Pervez Musharraf appointed him as the Military Chief of Pakistan in 2007.

With Kayani`s term coming to an end in November, there were several speculations doing the round about who will replace him and names of top Generals were being discussed.
The appointment of the next army chief had gained wide attention in view of past difficulties faced by civilian governments in appointing persons to the coveted military post.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Sharif held separate meetings here with Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Mahmood and Inspector General Training and Evaluation Lt Gen Sharif.
"The meetings discussed professional matters and matters relating to national security," a senior government official told a news agency.

Lt Gen Sharif`s prior appointments include Commander, Gujranwala XXX Corps, Commandant of Pakistan Military Academy Kakul and General Officer Commanding Lahore.

Lt Gen Mahmood has served as the Corps Commander of Lahore. He was also the military secretary to former President Rafiq Tarar.

Mahmood comes from Baloch Regiment and had served under General Kayani as ISI deputy director general.

Both Generals have superseded Lt Gen Haroon Aslam, currently Chief of Logistics Staff and the senior-most General after Kayani. He is scheduled to retire in April.

Lt Gen Sharif is the brother of Nishan-e-Haider medal
recipient for valour, Shabbir Sharif, who was killed in the 1971 war with India.

Sharif is said to be a key player in developing new doctrines for COIN/CT, where the Infantry training manual has essentially been re-written under his watch to move the largest fighting arm and backbone of the Army from the traditional India-centric role to a more diversified counterinsurgency capacity.

Sharif is said to enjoy close connections with former army chiefs and top brass as well as Lahore`s political elite.

Mahmood, who enjoys good relation with the Nawaz family, is another key confidant of Kayani and is his Principal Staff Officer. He is seen as the Kayani`s second set of eyes.

With PTI Inputs