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Lt Gen Raheel Sharif in a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the PM House in Islamabad, Nov 26, 2013.—APP Photo
Lt Gen Raheel Sharif in a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the PM House in Islamabad, Nov 26, 2013.—APP Photo
Lt Gen Raheel Sharif in a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the PM House in Islamabad, Nov 26, 2013.—APP Photo
Lt Gen Raheel Sharif in a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the PM House in Islamabad, Nov 26, 2013.—APP Photo
Lt Gen Raheel Sharif has been appointed as the new Chief of Army Staff.—Photo by ISPR
Lt Gen Raheel Sharif has been appointed as the new Chief of Army Staff.—Photo by ISPR
Lt Gen Raheel Sharif (L) and Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood. — File
Lt Gen Raheel Sharif (L) and Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood. — File

ISLAMABAD: After weeks of intense speculation in the media, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has finally made the selection of two senior army officers as Chief of Army Staff and Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee.

Career infantry officer Lt Gen Raheel Sharif has been appointed as the new COAS, while Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood has been appointed the CJCSC.

According to a notification issued by the ministry of defence, Lt Gen Raheel Sharif and Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood have been promoted to the rank of four-star general with effect from Thursday, Nov 28.

Both generals would take up their new posts from Friday, the day the current Army chief Kayani retires.

Lt Gen Raheel is currently serving as Inspector General Training and Evaluation whereas Lt Gen Mahmood is serving as Chief of General Staff.

Raheel Sharif holds the Hilal-i-Imtiaz military award, and is the younger brother of late Major Shabbir Sharif, who received the Nishan-i-Haider for his bravery in the 1971 war.

Both senior military officials met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif earlier today where the premier conveyed them the decision. The two meetings were viewed as immensely significant as they came a day before General Kayani’s retirement from his post of army chief.

The prime minister had sent to the president, who is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, a summary to promote the two generals and approve their appointments. The summary was approved, following which the notification was issued by the defence ministry.

“On the advice of the Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and in pursuance of Article 243/4(a) and 243/4(b) of the Constitution of Pakistan, President of Pakistan and Supreme Commander of Armed Forces, Mamnoon Hussain has been pleased to promote and appoint Gen. Rashid Mehmood as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Gen. Raheel Sharif as Chief of the Army Staff,” said a statement from the PM House.

Raheel’s selection as army chief selection implies that frontrunner and the senior most military officer Lt Gen Haroon Aslam, currently serving as Chief of Logistic Staff, was ignored for the elevation.

The post of army chief is arguably the most powerful in Pakistan and anxiety prevailed on who will replace the taciturn, chain-smoking General Kayani, who will step down on Friday after six years at the helm.

General Kayani’s retirement from the post comes after rules were relaxed to grant him an extension in July 2010 by the PPP-led coalition government in what then prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said was in the interest of continuity at a time when the war on terror was successfully continuing against elements who wanted to impose a system of their choice on the country.

Comments (84) Closed

Shujjat shah Nov 27, 2013 01:06pm

so? we dont need to do anything with them unless we get the drone and nato stop

Usman Nov 27, 2013 01:12pm

why senior most Lieutenant General Muhammad Haroon Aslam is skipped this time?

Javed Nov 27, 2013 01:19pm

Congratulations! Very sensible selection, at least the name - Sharif. Hope he is not going for the actual meaning of the name.

Amjud Nov 27, 2013 01:21pm

I like to congratulate to the new chief of Pakistan militarily forces who has lots of challenges to face regarding the Pakistan security. Foreign agencies involvement in our country terrorism is prime issue. I am sure that he will try his best to safeguard our security matter. Our nation is with him. Allah Almighty give him strength and courage to serve the Pakistan. Ameen. Best wishes. Amjud Gull Butt email

MAK Nov 27, 2013 01:32pm

And then we say, we want to free our institutions from political meddling!!! You by-pass seniority on the basis of whims and talk about making institutions strong. Pity you. May Allah help Pakistan.

Arslan Nov 27, 2013 01:49pm

Another decision where PM keep beside the seniority. This is another path which would be lead Pakistan to another Army Coup like Gen. Musharaf.

Adeel Nov 27, 2013 01:56pm

Pakistan again lost it, Demoncracy won now army also lost his aim....MAY ALLAH protect Pakistan...

khurram Nov 27, 2013 01:58pm

Poor decisions by gulliable person at the helm

salman Nov 27, 2013 02:17pm

On the lighter side..Gen Raheel is being appointed as COAS because he is also very Sharif:)

Uza Syed Nov 27, 2013 02:23pm

Isn't this new man is due for retirement in October 2014? So, the army command remains in the state of flux for another while and all the boys must strive hard to prove their loyalty to the Ammer of momineens and struggle for the position and personal goals continue and no one cooperates with no one else, every man for himself. Well, this is also one way to ensure that the present political set up has one less fear and can do to us whatever its sense of democratic fantasies it has.

abu sharif Nov 27, 2013 02:29pm

Now only Allah can help you oh Pakistan. A photo copy of KIYANI, has come to allow nawaz Sharif to ........ the nation for another 5 years , wonderful

Anees Nov 27, 2013 02:34pm

Yet another Sharif?

sohail saleem Nov 27, 2013 02:54pm

Wrong choice. Seniority should have been followed. Nevertheless, best of luck to him and the country.

Jawad Nov 27, 2013 03:09pm

This is Very Unfair to Pakistan Navy the position of Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff Committee (CJCSC) should have gone to Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila, this is 2nd time Nawaz Sharif taken position from Navy given to Army I wonder why? Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila Should Resign Now.

Zaheer Nov 27, 2013 03:13pm

I guess history never gave our leaders any lesson always personal concerns comes forward to their faces, this time i am sure this part of name Sharif, may be some relative or what but not seems fair to me at least.

ferhan Nov 27, 2013 03:23pm

Now to Shareefs will rule this country for next five years.

IBN-E-ASHFAQUE Nov 27, 2013 03:25pm

Nawaz had said earlier he will promote on seniority. However, he did not. I admire his consistency; in that whatever he says he never does. NS Zindabad.

King of the North!! Nov 27, 2013 03:27pm

Well done Mr. Sharif for choosing a General who shares the same Surname. I hope he doesn't kick the bucket as soon as we all think,,,

IamPakistani Nov 27, 2013 03:36pm

OK so he is selected. Lets not jump to the conclusion. It could be a big personal achievement for him however we as a nation will wait to see if we should join him in his celeberations or wait for more missing people, a broken arm and the expanding pounding ground (if you know what I mean)!

fazalpai Nov 27, 2013 03:41pm

Should be welcomed,with no like or dislike at his start, may ALLAH give him TRUE SENSE to fulfilL his new responsibilities under constitutional limits for the benefit of the POWERLESS masses of pakistan.

Arif Tahir Nov 27, 2013 03:45pm

@Uza Syed: Retirement date is set as per current rank, once any Armed Forces officer is promote his service tenure is extended by another term (2-3 years i think) thats how it works all over the World. So if one is not promoted they stand retired after tenure of current rank expires

Bashir Khattak Nov 27, 2013 03:55pm

We highly and very warmly welcome General Raheel Sharif who has been elevated as Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Army. He is the younger brother of Major Shabbir Sharif Nishan e Haider. Rang laiga Shaheedoon Ka Lahoo. We expect he will surely upgrade to the highest level of Pakistan Army and also focuss to the well fare of the Shaheed Families . Shaheed are the people who sacrifice their present for the cause of the nation and betterment of our future. They are really the first......first......first of all. I am also fortunate to be a brother of Major Noor Ahmed (Shaheed).

Adeel Nov 27, 2013 04:04pm

How can we sacrifice a nations destiny and well being, Lf Gen Haroon Aslam was the best man for the position, it was written on the wall Pakistan army will be made a circus in the name of the punjabi brother hood, I can only refer to Quran now only ALLAH can change the everything, " they plan and they plot, But I am best of the planners, Nawaz sharif when you fight will of ALLAH same happened when Mr. Musharaf was given priority you thought he is weak being a urdu speaking, but you have sealed your fate......your hunger for power and playing Pakistan as your family property ..... This will be the last democracy of Pakistan and a very shorty lived one inshALLAH....

imdadali Nov 27, 2013 04:09pm

the decision of PM in the selection of COAS is very good as there is critic observed that the PM delayed in taking the decision for the selection of Army Chief as the leader of opposition said the the should be taken about one month before the retirement of General Kayani but the it is right time for the right decision as in the law it is quoted that delayed justice denied justices but on the other hand it is also quoted that hurried in justices buried justices so Mian sb is decision is good we should avoid from taking prompt decision as it is also quoting here that Calip fourth Imam Ali advised his Governor kofa that you should not cool or severe but you should take the way of not severe not cool but kept your nature balanced. We have assured that the selection of the incumbent COAS shall prove good decision and the General Raheel Sharif shall take all decision of important nature with the consent of PM who is supreme commander of army after being implementation of 18 th. amendment

alan Nov 27, 2013 04:12pm

sensible decision, Reheel comes from a marshal family but is a gentleman. Wish both generals good luck. Pakistan zindabad

bilal Nov 27, 2013 04:13pm

very good choice made in the best interest of Pakistan. Best of luck sir!

Blister Nov 27, 2013 04:14pm

Abb is mulk main har tarf sharafat ka bol bala ho ga! Who will NS blame now. Best of luck!

Ali Nov 27, 2013 04:26pm

Where is Gen Haroon Aslam, what happen to seniority appointment which he promised? i had a feeling that mian sahib doesn't have an appetite for another commondo!

Bashir Nov 27, 2013 04:27pm

We warmly welcome General Raheel Sharif who has been elevated to the Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan. We are fully hopeful he will further strengthen the Armed Forces and its capabilities. He will focus on the welfare of Jawans and Shaheed families. He will courageously face the present & future challenges of our country. We wish and pray for his success and long healthy life. We are proud of him and his family highest sacrifices for the country.

Desi from Lahore Nov 27, 2013 04:30pm

May the best man win the job,it has nothing to do with seniority,even though the PM opened his mouth long enough to stick his foot in his mouth.........AGAIN !!!!!!

muhammad khan Nov 27, 2013 04:38pm

Congratulations to Gen.Sharif,i hope he will not behave like sharifs.

Ammar Nov 27, 2013 04:39pm

I am no supporter of Nawaz Sharif but I don't think there is anything wrong with his selection. He being the PM has the power to chose an existing Lieutenant General as the next COAS and that's what he did. When he was not making a decision, people were complaining about that and now when he has made his decision, people are again complaining. There is no law that says that the most senior Lt. General has to be the COAS.

I actually admire the fact that the new chief is the brother for Shaheed Major Shabbir Sharif. Although that does not increase his merit but it felt good to know that he is from the same family.

muhammad asghar Nov 27, 2013 04:53pm

@Javed: new army chief well come warmly and congratulation ok

GA Nov 27, 2013 04:58pm

Historically, Pakistani generals with a moustache have always launched a coup.

Asim Iqbal Nov 27, 2013 05:17pm

Politicians, specially in Pakistan always live up to their expectations. They tell lie to the nation. MNS had told the nation that he will select the senior most Lt General as army chief, however he did not.

sabeeh omer Nov 27, 2013 05:19pm

Seniority should have prevailed in the selection of CJSSC and the COAS. It would have given credence to Nawaz Sharif's selection. It is a pity the Prime Minister did not abide by what he'd always been saying that "the senior-most general would be promoted." Sad when you can't trust your own prime-minister! (A Nawaz supporter)

US CENTCOM Nov 27, 2013 05:37pm

We congratulate the nation of Pakistan on the appointment of the new COAF and CJCSC. We look forward to working closely with the new leadership. It is simply imperative for us to maintain a healthy working relationship for the betterment of the region. We

irfan baloch Nov 27, 2013 05:56pm

@Desi from Lahore: I agree with you there dear Sir, seniority is not the guarantee for the top job in the army, if the junior officers excel in their skills & capabilities they can supersede the seniors its not like the civilian bureaucracy where you get promoted just because of enough years under your belt for all its worth.

hmmm two top men with same sir names .. did that come into consideration while deciding the new COAS?

who knows

Husain Nov 27, 2013 06:02pm

Why there is so much smoke behind his portrait!!!

kash Nov 27, 2013 06:12pm

@US CENTCOM: and this is exactly WHAT we are affraid of. "working closely with the new leadership" "betterment of the region" "always emphasized Pakistan

Sajjad Nov 27, 2013 06:24pm

First the Air Cheif from Training (DCAS Training) and now the Army cheif from Taining and Evaluation (IG Training & Evaluation)... what about those who are looking after operations, who are actual commanders, their experience is just wasted, those are the real assets.. what about Lt General Aslam... All heading towards a disaster... Scared Nawaz.. as dictated by US

abbas khan Nov 27, 2013 06:37pm

@jawad unfair to you only.......................

abbas khan Nov 27, 2013 06:44pm

you guys r thinking if at the end of his name comes sharif so it means some how he is relative of nawaz sharif........ about his family background they have already written in 5th para ... read it carefully ...... but let me quote one thing ..... "younger brother of shabbir sharif " ....and if nawaz sharif would ever have this honur of being some relative of a brave he would he would have never done pakistan like this

Ilyas Nov 27, 2013 06:46pm

People, history is about to repeat itself

Fayyaz Nov 27, 2013 06:55pm

I Salute New General Raheel Sharif Army Chief PAKISTAN Zindabad

jay emm sahai Nov 27, 2013 07:12pm

I congratulate the General. Unlike in the past if we wants to create a legacy or have game changing strategy he has to move away from the past stigma of hating India. It is so obvious that the past policy of 60 years have failed the people of Pakistan miserably. What Pakistan need is education/health and economic development. The Army in the past was successful in making the country a pawn of scaremongering tactics and spend 20% of the GDP for Defence purpose. Pakistan is still not secure. Where is the end. Another important aspect is appeasing the militants. Pakistan don't need external enemies. It is imploding within because of the wrong policies of appeasing the hardliners. Please take into consideration the interest of people.

Kamal Gupta Nov 27, 2013 07:17pm

I have heard so many comments, such an outpouring, about the appointment of an army chief in any country. In most cases, very few citizens are even aware of who the chiefs of army, air force, and navy are. Perhaps its shows the pivotal role the military, particularly the army, has established for itself in Pakistan.

Harinder Nov 27, 2013 07:54pm

Analysis of Islamic societies :-

Army role in all Islamic countries.including Pakistan is to . "To Keep Jihadis under control" . And when the Islamist run out of control Military Rule replaces civilian rule.and we then have "Military Dictators" like Yayaha Khan ,Ayub Khan ,Mussharaf That is why Pakistan has 50-50 civilian and military rule. My bet is that in 3 years he will take over the country ie " 2017"

Agha Ata Nov 27, 2013 08:17pm

Sharif chooses another Sharif. :)

imirza Nov 27, 2013 08:27pm

@GA: How about Mussaraf ?

ahmed Nov 27, 2013 08:49pm

@Fayyaz: Salute the elected leaders of the nation. And dont create the atmosphere where a military officer starts imagining himself to be a savior on a white horse - Pakistan has been ruined by this slavish mindset.

Alamdar Nov 27, 2013 08:56pm

@Adeel : Well said. I do agree with you that present setup will not be able to complete its time in the assembly.

NASAH (USA) Nov 27, 2013 09:11pm

A COAS from the Sharif clan? Definitely a safe bet.

Aalee Nov 27, 2013 09:26pm

@Sajjad: I served in the armed forces of Pakistan and have been living outside Pakistan as a retired officer for more than a decade. If a general is heading the training and evaluation or someone served as DCAS Training in the Air Force does not mean that the officers do not have credentials as having served in operations. Both the Army and the Air Force chiefs had commanded operational units and had proved their competence to reach where they were. Every post at the top level has to be filled and is filled by good officers who have proved their capabilities.

Wajahat Raheel Nov 27, 2013 10:29pm

actually they have done on merit...they havn't seen who is senior and who is not... so great decision .. WAY YOU GO GEN RAHEEL

AAA Nov 27, 2013 10:44pm

@Ilyas:Yes INSHA ALLAH. It should like General Musshraf AMIN SUMMA AMIN

Syed Nov 27, 2013 10:45pm

@GA: hahaha Good one.. Nawaz has again fallen for it

assad Nov 27, 2013 11:24pm

@alan: What is this "martial" family? Are his mother and father all "warriors" of some sort? A better way to describe the same would be to say he comes from a "military" family given the service of his father and brothers in the Army.

ehtesham dar Nov 27, 2013 11:50pm

history repeats itself.general with moustache always launched a coup.ha ha now let's see.what happens.

Naveed Akhtar Nov 28, 2013 12:05am

@Husain : That is General Kayani smoking his last pack of cigarettes in the back

sultan qasim Nov 28, 2013 12:13am

@US CENTCOM: will u be sending another drone missile as a token of love n salute to the new army chief ?

AbdulMajid Khan Nov 28, 2013 12:15am

Congratulations to both Generals on promotion. They should be thankful to Allah for this award and promise to Him and the nation that they be loyal to the nation and work in the interest of the nation and to the expectations of the nation.

They must promise to the nation that they will not become puppet of politicians and humble servants Nawaz Shareef family or any other puppet Islamic country. They will not be corrupted by any one and will bring Pakistan army in the top rank among the world armies.

Good luck


Jahanzaib Abbasey Nov 28, 2013 12:32am

Define irony. The saviour of Pakistan from Sharif is a Sharif.

Shamsulislam Nov 28, 2013 12:56am

raheel sharif is the chief of army staff i am happy he is a good personality

Ayesha Khan Nov 28, 2013 01:48am

Pakistan Zindabad ---Dosen't matter who ever comes .

Sarwat Nov 28, 2013 01:49am

I hope General Sharif will keep the legacy of his brother Major Shabbir Sharif (Shaheed) alive by serving Pakistan with utmost sincerity and devotion. Our Pakistan is going through severe turbulence due to our corrupt politicians who are not sincere with Pakistan. We need at least a General who is honest, brave and has the ability to fight foreign and domestic enemies. May Allah bless Pakistan and its citizens

shahid Kinnare Nov 28, 2013 02:12am

I wish new army chief would change Army recruiting and promotion policy.

Babu Khan Nov 28, 2013 02:42am

Long live Pakistan

Shah Nov 28, 2013 03:04am

@Husain : Maybe he was in a war zone when this picture was shot, hence the smoke :)

chaudhary Nov 28, 2013 04:20am

Nawaz Shareef, again goes back on his word to respect seniority and not play politics with this appointment. Has he learned no lessons from his history? Does Pakistanise to trust him? he expect

Aashish Nov 28, 2013 07:09am

Both the general & prime minister's surname is Sharif, but the question is ...are they really 'Sharif' in their actions?

Ahmer Nov 28, 2013 07:18am

What did Mian Saab see in Gen Raheel Sharif to supersede two senior Lt Gens? His is the least impressive resume compared to the other two Lt Gens he superseded.

Ali Nov 28, 2013 07:33am

NS should have given promoted according to the seniority, not his likes & dislikes. Historically, respect for seniority has created respect for the leadership & vice versa.

Ahsan7979 Nov 28, 2013 08:24am

@US CENTCOM: How much peace has Pakistan earned in the last 10 years? The answer is simple. "None"

Omair Nov 28, 2013 09:06am

@MAK: The promotions should be on merit and not seniority. The oldest may not be the wisest.

Omair Nov 28, 2013 09:08am

@Uza Syed: When you get promoted to COAS the post is for 3 years. He will complete his 3 years tenure,

Naeem Asif Nov 28, 2013 09:25am

It is a good decision to appoint Gen Raheel Shreef as army chief, Nov 28, 2013 10:06am

@GA: I hope he does it by putting to sword likes of Nawaz, Bhutoo, Zardaris as well as Mullahs, Makhdooms, feudal lords and corrupt officials

ashfaq ahmad Nov 28, 2013 10:55am

Nawz selected a man, just similar to mamnoon hussain. both are not active persons in their field, i did not mean that army cheif should kikced PM, but atleast he should be active in their own field, army cheif should be from active fighting commanders or on merit, not the one who are just passive listeners.

SM ZAKI Nov 28, 2013 01:18pm

Now we have learnt that Mian Nawaz Sharif has leanrt nothing from his mistakes. The same attitude of a " Sultan e Moazzam" Again he has chosen liking and disliking formula by suprcedeing senior most Gen. Haroon Aslam.Some reports say PM has also consulted with His spouse Beguam Kulsoom Nawaz..Subhanallah. Every thing in this country has become a family matter. May GOD save our country.

Saad Nov 28, 2013 02:51pm

@US CENTCOM: We're much too aware of your 'working closely'(ies) and 'healthy working relationships' and the 'betterment of the region' and your other blah blah blah.

Pls leave us alone; we've already had enough of you...!!

Blitzer Nov 28, 2013 06:22pm

@ashfaq ahmad: The choice of LTG Raheel Sharif for the post of the COAS is an excellent one. If you read about Gen. Sharif's profile in various newspapers, he is a career infantryman. Do you understand what an infantryman is? He's held various posts of varying importance within the hierarchy of the Pak. Army over the years. He was GOC of one of the two divisions of Lahore as Maj. General. Then he went on to become Gujranwala's Corps Commander when he became a Lt. General. He also held posts at PMA Kakul and more recently he was one of the PSOs to Gen. Kayani and the DG of Training & Evaluation. So essentially, the new COAS has accumulated all the relevant experience one needs to head the Armed Forces.

Now why did the PM pick LTG Raheel Sharif from among the four frontrunners is anyone's guess.

Lolo Nov 29, 2013 12:05am

I think, this Sharif will supersede pm Sharif and become president....history is going to repeat very soon....!

Vivek Nov 29, 2013 09:44pm

It is good news for Lt Gen Raheel Sharif chosen as new army chief for the Pakistan.