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Profile: Lt General Raheel Sharif

Updated Nov 27, 2013 04:53pm


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Lieutenant General Raheel Sharif. — File Photo
Lieutenant General Raheel Sharif. — File Photo

Born in Quetta on June 16, 1956 to Major and Mrs Muhammad Sharif, newly-appointed army chief Raheel Sharif grew up steeped in the military tradition.

Sharif’s elder brother, Shabbir Sharif, was a course-mate of General (rtd) Pervez Musharraf, and was killed during the 1971 war with India and was awarded the Nishan-i-Haider, Pakistan's highest military award.

He attained his formal education at Government College Lahore and later went on to attend the Pakistan Military Academy.

After graduation, he was commissioned in 1976 in the battle hardened and renowned 6th battalion The Frontier Force Regiment in which his elder brother was also commissioned.

As a young officer, he performed his duties in Gilgit in an infantry brigade and also served as adjutant of Pakistan Military Academy.

Over the years, Sharif climbed up the military ladder mentored by Musharraf who handed him command of the 11th Infantry Division in Lahore.

Despite the common surname, Raheel Sharif is not related to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, but is known to be close to tribal affairs minister Lieutenant-General Abdul Qadir Baloch, a key confidante of the Sharif family.

As a brigadier, he has commanded two infantry brigades including an independent infantry brigade group.

He has been the General Officer Commanding of an infantry division and the Commandant of the prestigious Pakistan Military Academy.

As a Lieutenant General, Sharif served as Corps Commander for two years before taking over as Inspector General Training and Evaluation in which capacity he oversaw the training of Pakistan Army.

He was also awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, the second highest civilian award and honour that is given to both civilians and military officers of the Pakistan armed forces.

On Nov 27, the government approved Sharif’s appointment for the slot of Chief of Army Staff, a position that he will be taking over from Ashfaq Parvez Kayani who will be stepping down on Nov 29 after serving as military chief for six years.

The general is married with two sons and a daughter.

Comments (59) Closed

Syed Nov 27, 2013 04:09pm

"Despite the common surname, Raheel Sharif is not related to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, but is known to be close to tribal affairs minister Lieutenant-General Abdul Qadir Baloch, a key confidante of the Sharif family."

So, in short, a job given ON Merit... family merit that is !!!

(let me laugh for a while)

Asif Nov 27, 2013 04:24pm

Well Mr. PM lets hope for your own sake he does not overthrow the Government as your previous choice did.

Desi from Lahore Nov 27, 2013 04:36pm

@Asif: That all depends on which direction the country is headed.If only promises are made and no action,there is always the possibility.Lets face it,so far Nawaz hasn't done anything that'll make us think the country is headed in the right direction.Just compare the value of Rupee to when Musharraf was running the joint

Mukhtar Nov 27, 2013 04:36pm

He is a very handsome man. :-)

ahmedj Nov 27, 2013 04:54pm

The right choice

Boy Nov 27, 2013 04:57pm

"was killed during the 1971 war with India" i think writer might wanna rethink his sentence as Maj Shahbir Shaheed led his life in in line of duty and awarded highest military honor....please after you done writing something, have sensible look of it. Thanks

ch muhammad sarwar Nov 27, 2013 05:11pm

a selection seems to be on marit we pray and hope for bright future of the country in the a supervision of the general who lis loyal and sincere for the country.

Yossarian Nov 27, 2013 05:33pm

All the best to Pakistan's new ruler!

Arsalan Mustafa Nov 27, 2013 06:16pm

A close associate of Sir Pervez Musharraf has been given the command of the country

Gulsazam Nov 27, 2013 07:12pm

Long live to Pakistan Long live to Pak Army

Gulsazam Nov 27, 2013 07:12pm

Long live to Pakistan Long live to Pak Army

Lakhkar Khan Nov 27, 2013 07:30pm

@Yossarian: He is not the new "ruler", just another public servant, in case you missed.

trq Nov 27, 2013 07:43pm

Good luck General. Work for Pakistan, and keep Pakistan interest Paramount

ahmed Nov 27, 2013 07:53pm

The appointment of a grade 22 or something public servant shouldnt be made to seem like the election of a prime minister.

Khurshid Zaman Babar Nov 27, 2013 08:12pm

The appointment of Gen. Raheel Sharif, appears to be a good omen, for Pakistan, and the Pakistan Army. We are grateful to Gen. Ashfaq Parveez Kayaani for his tremendous services to the country in times of crisis. I wish them both good luck for the future of this great country. PAK ARMY ZINDABAD!

ailly Nov 27, 2013 08:29pm

after the age 60, we had heard that one goes berserk and Shareef is no different. he want to see all Shareefs in top ranked positions in Pakistan. PM Shareef, FM Shareef, Def Minister Shareef, COAS another Shareef and God know what not ... may be soon we find CJ some Shareef as well. funny affairs.

Agha Ata Nov 27, 2013 08:35pm

He is a well trained and well experienced officer. Good choice. :)

assad Nov 27, 2013 08:53pm

No foreign courses?

Mohdudul Huq Nov 27, 2013 09:05pm

He was born in 1056 and my uncle was Commissioned officer in 1956 from Pakistan Military Academy. Good Luck for his new position and a lot of works in front of him to save Pakistan.

Sabir Ayub Rabbani Nov 27, 2013 09:08pm

@Boy: Very well said. I don't know what the writer was thinking.

TKhan Nov 27, 2013 09:51pm

Keep the Institution of Democracy in tact at any cost!

Best of Luck General!

Tahir Nov 27, 2013 10:47pm

@Yossarian: Wide-mouthed would continue to say what they feel like! So carry on, please.

Tahir Nov 27, 2013 10:49pm

@Syed: Wide-mouthed would continue to say whatever they feel like. So please carry on! Otherwise, he was third in the seniority. The first was superseded, 2nd appointed as the CJCSC and the 3rd appointed as the COAS! What's the problem dude!

Anurag Priyadarshi Nov 27, 2013 11:50pm

Mr Nawaz aware..the countdown to your exit may have just begun.Your nemesis this time might just be your namesake.

hbokhari Nov 27, 2013 11:56pm

The only casulty is merit. The senior most general should be picked as the next chief. Nawaz is a dud so to think that he will learn anything from his past mistakes is a mistake on our part.

TKhan Nov 27, 2013 11:57pm


Prime Minister has every right to make appointments of key posts based on the recommendations of his trusted advisers. This level of appointments are not based on who is next in line, but who is more suited to do the job, and in line with PM's vision of the country. General Sharif seems to be a qualified person, and his job is to protect the country regardless who sponsored or appointed him.

Do the right thing General and Good Luck.

shamshraja Nov 28, 2013 12:18am


shamshraja Nov 28, 2013 12:19am

Good Luck New Chief.

shamshraja Nov 28, 2013 12:21am

good luck new army chief pakistan

P. Joseph Raju Nov 28, 2013 12:47am

Congratulations General. Wish you all the best in your new promotion. A great opportunity for you to remove the Army from the political intervention and democratic infringement. The Army is the one reason Pakistan people suffering at many fronts. Please stop all the wars with India. It only helped the Army not the country. Please change the course and do your best to help the people of Pakistan and make the Army strong. Joseph Raju

kirpal Nov 28, 2013 05:36am

Wish him all the best. Request from an Indian, please remove the misconception from Pak army of India being the main enemy. Friendship with India will bring greater benefits to both countries whose people are made of same genes rather than Arabs who have nothing in common with Pakistani people and show utter hatred towards them due to their temporary oil wealth. Being from an Army family the general's outlook may be more secular. Indian and Pakistani army officers and men are the best friends when they are on UN missions in Africa and strangely exactly opposite in the sub continent, what a paradox.

Jalaluddin S. Hussain Nov 28, 2013 06:21am

Let the army take the back seat now and elected politicians work for the good of the country.

mohammad Nov 28, 2013 09:15am


Ali Nov 28, 2013 10:02am

Well done Nawaz! you again repeated the same, again superseded a senior general, And prevail injustice.... Hope this General will also over-through your office.

Awais Nov 28, 2013 10:54am

@Desi from Lahore: Some major projects are on the way in country. What direction do you want?

Mustafa Nov 28, 2013 12:43pm

The scribe neglected to mention that General is also a nephew of another Nishan-e-Haider recipient, Major Aziz Bhatti Shaheed. In fact Major Aziz left for the battlefield from General Raheel's home. General Sahib's mother narrated that when the army jeep arrived to pickup Major Aziz, he remarked "my angels are here to take me". Subhan Allah.

General sahib is taking reigns of the army at a critical juncture of history of the world. We have chosen a soldier up to the task, insha-Allah. Allah aap ka hami-o-Nasir ho. Ameen.

Ye Ghazi, Ye Tere Purisrar Bande Jinhain Tu Ne Bakhsha Hai Zuaq-e-Khudai.

Pakistan Zindabad, Pak Fauj Zindabad.

Jawed Reza Sheikh Nov 28, 2013 01:32pm

Let's just hope he will bring the Army out of politics and ensure bringing in professionalism, which appears to be lacking. The attacks on GHQ, Abbotabad, Salala are a blur on the Army.

zahid wali bakhtawar Nov 28, 2013 03:16pm

i want to say something to the prime minister of pakistan dear sir why you are staying silent plz come forward and make real of your promises that was before the election and dear sir that were not only your promises ok they were the dream of pakistani nation . where are you now ya................

oBSERVER Nov 28, 2013 04:25pm

The reporter has made a poor choice of words and syntax. Raheel was NOT "MENTRORED BY MUSHARRAF". So get your facts right and do not add from your weak imagination Mr.Reporter.

Hashim Nov 28, 2013 06:02pm

i dont know whether " killed during 1971 war" was intentional or just an honest mistake. i hope its the latter, what makes Pak Army great is not its training or organization but the mere fact that in times of need the nation has stood beside it. any effort whether intentional or otherwise, to mar this spirit should be immediately rectified. hope the mistake gets corrected !!!

Mehran Nov 28, 2013 06:21pm

@oBSERVER: How do you know?

Abdulla Hussain Nov 28, 2013 06:53pm

Salute to Pakistan Armed Forces for their professionalism & bravery. I clearly remember some 35 years ago a senior American CEO of a universally acclaimed company declaring that if he was to choose army personnel to lead a mission, he would choose from Pakistan army. He was talking in front of all the staff members, I was also employed there, in a gulf country.

Ghulam Nabi Nov 28, 2013 07:14pm

@ahmed: If grade 22 or equel level officers will come like PM through election then untrained uneducated with false degrees,corrupt,thiefs and dishonest will come up like politicians.

Mesum Abbas Nov 28, 2013 07:43pm

@Hashim: JCOs and lower level Pak military leadership is no doubt brave but not the middle and high level leadership. Otherwise how would you explain surrender of 90,000 soldiers with more than 45 days of supplies, especially when the 'two nation theory' was at stake.

dr dileep kumar doultani Nov 28, 2013 09:27pm

well come, well done. congratulations , hope for best.

Citizen Nov 28, 2013 09:48pm

Congrats to New Cheif, But nothing beats talent of Pervaiz Musharraf.

syed Nov 29, 2013 02:23am


no one asked for your opinion. you keep yours.. I will keep mine, but don't pretend you know don't know how we pick our leaders. Nov 29, 2013 04:45am

@Syed: I would like to straighten out a few misconseptions that we Pakistanis generally are suffering. We are apt to malign the Armed Forces and give everso much more importance to the Civies. The consept is no doubt by and large right; it should be the civilians and perhaps not the "Khakies" But let us be factual and look at the past. Pakistan would have long since collapsed; if the Army did not take over (ofcourse exceptions; surely not the likes of Gen.Zia ul Haq man who did immense harm to the country.I go a point further; knowing there will be a lot of fall-out; the Army positively has a better overall education; training and so much more than the normal Civilian (I am one of the Civies) By and large they have no "Jaalie" Colledge/University Degrees; and are somewhat more honest. When maligning; we should not forget; they are from the same country; belong to the same soil; and try honestly weighing the situation; have done a damn sight better job than we civilians have or could ever do. I keenly await the avalanche! Its Edgar Khairullah. from Canada (now)

FR Nov 29, 2013 04:45am

@Jalaluddin S. Hussain: not elected--but slected.

Zahir Nov 29, 2013 11:58am

@oBSERVER: Indeed he was not MENTRORED-rather Mentored by Musharraf and those in the know will vouch for that. Anyhow what is important is that he keeps the army out of politics like his predecessor, and instead concentrate on the security challenges and existential threats facing the country.

Jeevan Nov 29, 2013 12:23pm

Ironical isnt it ? The Pakistan Prime Minister has the power to appoint a man over which he will have no power ....

salman Nov 29, 2013 12:52pm

@kirpal: I agree with you I recently visited UAE and found Indians and Pakistanis United. I would love to see us united.

mansoor Nov 29, 2013 02:39pm

@hbokhari: Senior most does not mean best on merit.

Anon Nov 29, 2013 04:55pm

@syed: Who says he has the power to appoint him?

Gerry D'Cunha Nov 29, 2013 05:05pm

who ever is appointed to the high rank, should now serve the country with honesty and intrigity and bring this great country on to the right track with the rest of the world

sri1 Nov 30, 2013 12:14am

@Ali: Superseding a senior general or two is nothing uncommon in the republic. Hope that this was a better informed decision than Musharraf. Knowing N Sharif, it is sure that he has chosen well. Raheel Sharif could be another moderate statesman like Gen. Karamat who did not obviate the constitution in spite of hazaar civilian provocations.

independentthinker Nov 30, 2013 12:14am

Father in the military, brother killed in the 1971 War with India - Raheel Sharif himself has spent his entire life in serving the country - wonder how he will fit in with the civilian government, which is filled with corrupt and dishonest people. Mr. Sharif appears to be coming from a family that truly loves Pakistan - just hope he will bring the positive change, that each and every Pakistani is desperately in need of. All the best!

indoaryan Nov 30, 2013 05:19pm

@Mukhtar: Being handsome, In the armed forces, is not the valid criteria for promotion to such critical posts, unless you have feminine characteristics. Come up with some thing better.

Raja Nov 30, 2013 09:09pm

Best of Luck Mr. Raheel Sharif. The nation salutes you and do what's best for the country.