General Raheel Sharif (Urdu: راحیل شریف; born 16 June 1956), NI(M), HI(M), is a four-star rank army general, currently serving as the 15th Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army, appointed as such on 29 November 2013.
Early life and family
General Raheel Sharif was born in Quetta. He belongs to a Rajput family with roots in Punjab (in the town of Kunjah, Gujrat). He has a prominent military background, and is the son of (late) Major Rana Muhammad Sharif. His eldest brother Major Rana Shabbir Sharif, was declared as the martyr of Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 by Pakistan and received Pakistan's highest military award Nishan-e-Haider posthumously. He is the youngest sibling among three brothers and two sisters. His other brother, Captain Mumtaz Sharif, also bravely served in Pakistan army and for his bravery he was awarded Sitara-e- Basalat, but got an early retirement due to medical reasons. From his mother's side, he is nephew of Major Raja Aziz Bhatti, another Nishan-e-Haider recipient, who was declared as the martyr of Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 by Pakistan. He is married and has three children, two sons and a daughter. He is an avid reader and enjoys hunting and swimming.
Sharif received his formal education from the Government College in Lahore and afterward attended the 54th long course (L/C) of Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) . After his passing out in October 1976, he was commissioned into the 6th Battalion of the Frontier Force Regiment, where his elder brother had also served. He served as an adjutant to the Pakistan Military Academy and joined an infantry brigade in Gilgit. As a brigadier, he commanded two infantry brigades. In 2002, he was also appointed as Military Secretary by then Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf succeeding Nadeem Taj, who later served as director general ISI.
In time, he was assigned command of the 11th Infantry Division in Lahore by General Pervez Musharraf. After commanding the division for over 2 years, he was posted as Commandant of the Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul. Following his promotion to Lieutenant General, Sharif served as a corps commander Gujranwala for two years and then took over as Inspector General for Training and Evaluation in the Pakistan Army.
Role in war on terror
As the Inspector General for Training and Evaluation, he enhanced the military colleges in the country and provided unconventional warfare training to the troops. He also deals with the evaluation of military doctrines and war strategies with a view to shaping future training programs. He changed the army's focus more towards carrying out counter-insurgency operations against Taliban militants.
General Sharif has spearheaded a thinking in Pakistan military since 2007 that fighting Taliban inside Pakistan is more important than focusing on India, Pakistan's arch rival since independence.
Chief of Army Staff
On 27 November 2013, Sharif was appointed as the 15th Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.According to sources, General Sharif is said to be uninterested in politics with very positive and balanced views. But he was elevated over two more senior generals. Lieutenant General Haroon Aslam, a senior general, resigned over Sharif's elevation. The other more-senior general, Rashad Mahmood was appointed as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. The News reported that General Aslam may have been superseded because of his action in the 1999 coup.
Sharif was named as best military commander general in the world for 2015 by ABC News Point.
According to The Economist, "Unlike his predecessors, General Sharif appears to see jihadists, principally in the form of Pakistan’s own Taliban, as the country’s greatest threat, and is credited to have initiated the successful joint operation of Zarb-e-Azb"
Awards and decorations
|10 Years Service Medal|
|20 Years Service Medal|
|30 Years Service Medal|
|Command and Staff College Centenary Medal|
|Non-operational Military Awards|
|Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Order of Excellence Military)|
|Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Crescent of Excellence)|
|Qarardad-e-Pakistan Tamgha (Resolution Day Golden Jubilee Medal)|
|Tamgha-e-Istaqlal (Escalation versus India Medal)|
|Hijri Tamgha (Hijri Medal)|
|Tamgha-e-Jamhuriat (Democracy Medal)|
|Independence Day Golden Jubilee Medal|
|Tamgha-e-Baqa (Nuclear Test Medal)|
|Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud (Saudi Arabia)|
|Legion of Merit (United States)|
|Order of Military Merit (Brazil)|
|Military Merit of the First Order (Jordan)|
|Turkish Legend of Merit|
- "Official Profile of Chief of Army Staff".
- "Profile: Raheel Sharif, Pakistan's 'strategic' army head". BBC. 27 November 2013.
- "Luck plays role in Gen Sharif's promotion". The News. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- "Profile: Lt General Raheel Sharif". Dawn. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- Mateen Haider (1 January 2013). "Lt Gen Raheel Sharif chosen as new army chief". Dawn. Dawn.Com. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- Hasan, Abdul Qadir (1 December 2013). "After Nishan-e-Haider". urdu.alarabiya.net (in Urdu). Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- Mustafa, Nazia (29 November 2013). "From Sharif to Sharif". Nawaiwaqt Newspaper (in Urdu). Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- Reuters (23 February 2011). "Lt Gen Raheel Sharif appointed new army chief – The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- "Lt. General Raheel Sharif Appointed as Chief of Army Staff". Pakistan Tribune. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- "Welcome to ISPR". www.ispr.gov.pk. Retrieved 2015-09-06.
- Luck plays role in Gen Sharif’s promotion Print Edition The News International, Shakil Shaikh, November 28, 2013 | Retrieved 7 July, 2015
- Khan, Wajahat S. (29 November 2013). "Knows the rules, makes a pincer move". thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- Waraich, Omar (2013-11-27). "Gen. Raheel Sharif: Pakistan's New Army Chief Assumes Pivotal Job | TIME.com". World.time.com. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- "Haroon Aslam resigns following Gen Sharif's promotion to army chief". Tribune. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- "Gen Raheel Sharif new COAS, Gen Rashad Mahmood CJCSC". The News International. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
- "Lt General Haroon Aslam resigns". The News International. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
- "President honours army chief, JCSC head with Nishan-e-Imtiaz". Tribune. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
- "General Janjua may be next ISI DG". nation.com.pk. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
- "Top 10 Best Military Commander Generals in the World 2016". ABC News. 2015-09-14. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- Afghanistan: Old problems, new hope, economist.com.
- "Raheel Sharif meets Chuck Hagel". 9 December 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
- "Gen Raheel meets with Saudi political, military leadership". Dawn. 5 February 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
- "Army chief conferred US Legion of Merit medal". Dawn. 2014-11-20. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Army chief relays concerns about Indian ceasefire violations to US: report". The Express Tribune. 2014-11-19. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif conferred US Legion of Merit medal". TheNewstribe. 2014-11-19. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
- "General Raheel Sharif decorated with Brazil's 'Order of Merit'". Dawn. 25 November 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
- "Gen Raheel awarded Jordanian medal of merit". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- "Gen Sharif conferred with Jordanian Medal of Merit". arynews.tv. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- Reporter, The Newspaper's Staff (2016-04-26). "Jordanian medal of merit conferred on COAS". www.dawn.com. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- "Medal of merit: Jordan decorates Gen Raheel with award - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2016-04-26. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- "COAS Raheel Sharif awarded Turkish Legend of Merit". arynews.tv. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- "War against terror: Pakistan stands with Turkey, says General Raheel - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2015-10-13. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
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Ashfaq Pervez Kayani
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2013 – Present