Raheel Sharif (Urdu: راحیل شریف; born 16 June 1956), NI(M), HI(M), is a retired four-star rank general in the Pakistan Army who served as the 15th Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army, from 29 November 2013 to 29 November 2016. He is largely considered to be the one of the most popular army generals in the country's history. He currently serves as the Commander-In-Chief of Islamic Military Alliance.
Under General Raheel Sharif's command, the Army carried out operations in North Waziristan, namely Operation Zarb-e-Azb which stabilized the North-west of the country. He expanded the role of paramilitaries in Karachi which is widely credited with reducing the level of violence in Pakistan's commercial capital. The Pakistani military under his command has also supported the democratically elected government on the federal level and the Baloch provincial and local government in ending the Balochistan insurgency by pursuing reconciliation and integration of former militants back into mainstream Pakistani society. General Sharif also developed a new brigade-level military unit to help protect and secure the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which runs through Balochistan province. General Sharif helped to develop Pakistan's indigenous defence industry which resulted in the savings of more than $1.14 billion of Pakistan's forex, over a year and half time period.
General Sharif achieved his objectives by strengthening the role of the military in affairs directly concerning national security and foreign policy, while leaving the civilian government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in control of social and economic policy. "Pakistan's Military Tightens Grip on Security Policy". Time. Retrieved 29 May 2017.</ref> were reconciling Pakistan with America by striking against militant groups near the Afghan border, carrying out Pakistan's first joint military exercises with Russia, and deepening relations with China.
He became the first Pakistani general to retire on time and not seek an extension in over twenty years. General Sharif said that he was "ready to serve Pakistan" even after his retirement through helping military veterans. General Sharif left a respected legacy in Pakistan. He is widely credited with reducing terrorism inside the country; violence in the country was reduced to its lowest level since 2006, with an overall decline of 70% in terrorist attacks under his tenure.
General Raheel Sharif was born in Quetta, capital of Pakistan's Balochistan province. 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 killed during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 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[peacock term] 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[peacock term] 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 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 two 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 Counter Terrorism
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 Tehrik-i-Taliban (Pakistani 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 9th 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.
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 has sought the help of the Americans in countering it."
Saudi-led military alliance
In an interview ex-army chief Pervaiz Musharraf said Raheel Sharif helped him escape the trial and get out of country by "influencing the courts".
Raheel Sharif's action of taking up a Saudi employment right after retirement was questioned both by the public and lawmakers. His joining Saudi alliance was also seen as stressing Pakistan relations with Iran.
Gen Sharif increasingly overshadowed the country’s civilian government, as the army cracked down on crime in Karachi and fought militants in the borderlands while he took an ever-greater role in security policy 
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 (Turkey)|
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- "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
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- 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.
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- Afghanistan: Old problems, new hope, economist.com.
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- editor-m. "Iran Regime Not OK With Islamic NATO". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
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- "Gen Raheel awarded Jordanian medal of merit". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
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Ashfaq Pervez Kayani
|Chief of Army Staff
Qamar Javed Bajwa