27 Nov 2013

Pakistan: Lt Gen Raheel Sharif as New Army Chief of Pakistan

Lt General Raheel Sharif is younger brother of Nishan-i-Haider Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed.
Promoted as a Lt General in October 2010, he was first entrusted to command the Gujranwala Corps and later appointed as Inspector General Weapons, Training and Evaluation. As a two star general, he commanded the 11th division in Lahore and was later posted as Commandant Pakistan Military Academy Kakul.
It was a surprise for some when Major General Raheel Sharif was promoted as a three star general as it was thought he had already reached the peak of his career.
However, some sources say, Lt General Raheel Sharif is known to Lt General (retired) Abdul Qadir Baloch, a close confidante of PM Nawaz Sharif.
If the PM consults his cabinet for the suggestions, Lt General (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch is said to be favourable to an officer who served under him and is known as a simple career officer.
However, this relationship would not be given much weight when the PM takes the final decision based on considerations of merit, professional competence and dynamism to tackle the challenges of militancy and withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan. He is expected to retire in October 2014.
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