President Mamnoon Hussain on Friday commended outgoing Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif for leading the fight against terrorism and playing a major role in bringing peace to the country, reported Radio Pakistan.
The president made the remarks at the farewell dinner hosted in honour of General Raheel Sharif.
"Operation Zarb-i-Azb against terrorism carried out under the leadership of Army Chief General Raheel Sharif is a golden chapter in the history of Pakistan," said Mamnoon.
The president added that intelligence-based operations in Karachi, Balochistan and other parts of the country have also been effective in restoring peace.
Giving example of the service rendered by the army chief, the president said the COAS had set the traditions for other servicemen to follow.
Earlier in the week, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while addressing a farewell ceremony in the honour of Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, said the latter proved himself as the best army chief with his hard work and dedication.
The premier during his address acknowledged and appreciated the services of Gen Raheel Sharif and his family for the defence of the country.
The army chief kicked off his farewell visits nearly a week before he is expected to retire as Chief of Army Staff.
Gen Raheel's legacy
Back in 2013 when Gen Kayani announced that he would not take an extension for a second time, Gen Sharif 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.