Raheel Sharif

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Raheel Sharif

Raheel Sharif at the Global Security Dinner in Davos
Sharif in 2017
Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition
Assumed office
29 May 2017
Preceded byPosition established
9th Chief of Army Staff
In office
29 November 2013 – 29 November 2016
Preceded byAshfaq Parvez Kayani
Succeeded byQamar Javed Bajwa
Inspector General of the Training and Evaluation
In office
October 2012 – November 2013
Commander XXX Corps, Gujranwala
In office
October 2010 – October 2012
Personal details
Born (1956-06-16) 16 June 1956 (age 63)
Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan
RelationsMajor Raja Aziz Bhatti Shaheed (Nishan-e-Haider) (uncle)
Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed (Nishan-e-Haider) (brother)
Captain Mumtaz Sharif (brother)[1]
Major Rana Muhammad Sharif (father)[2]
Alma materGarrison Boys High School
Government College Lahore
Pakistan Military Academy
Bundeswehr University Munich
National Defense University
Canadian Army Command and Staff College
Royal College of Defense Studies
AwardsOrder of Excellence Nishan-e-Imtiaz.png Nishan-e-Imtiaz
Crescent of Excellence Hilal-e-Imtiaz.png Hilal-i-Imtiaz[3]
Military service
Allegiance Pakistan
Branch/service Pakistan Army
Years of service1976–2016
RankUS-O10 insignia.svgOF-9 Pakistan Army.svg General
Unit6th FF Regiment
CommandsIslamic Military Alliance
Chief of Army Staff
XXX Corps
XI Division
6 Frontier Force Regiment
26 Frontier Force Regiment
Battles/warsWar in North-West Pakistan
Operation Zarb-e-Azb
2014 Kashmir Skirmishes

Raheel Sharif (Urdu: راحیل شریف; born 16 June 1956), NI(M), HI(M), is a retired Pakistan Army four-star general who served as the 9th Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army. He is considered as one of the most popular army generals in the country's history.[4] After his retirement as Pakistan's Army Chief, he was appointed as the Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, a 39-nation alliance of Muslim countries headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.[5]

Under General Raheel Sharif's command, the Pakistan Army carried out anti-terrorism operations in North Waziristan, namely Operation Zarb-e-Azb which stabilized the North-west of the country.[6] He expanded the role of paramilitaries in Karachi which is widely credited with reducing the level of violence in Pakistan's commercial capital.[7] 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[8] and integration of former militants back into mainstream Pakistani society.[9][10][11] 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.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14][15][16] were reconciling Pakistan with America by striking against militant groups near the Afghan border,[17] carrying out Pakistan's first joint military exercises with Russia,[18] and deepening relations with China.[19]

He became the first Pakistani general to retire on time and not seek an extension in over twenty years.[20][21] General Sharif said that he was "ready to serve Pakistan" even after his retirement through helping military veterans.[22][23] 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,[24] with an overall decline of 70% in terrorist attacks under his tenure.[25]

Early life[edit]

General Raheel Sharif was born in Quetta, capital of Pakistan's Balochistan province. He belongs to a family of Rajput with roots in Punjab (in the town of Kunjah, Gujrat).[1][26][27] He has a prominent military background,[2] and is the son of (late) Major Rana Muhammad Sharif.[2] He is the youngest sibling among three brothers and two sisters.[28] his elder brother was Shabbir Sharif (28 April 1943 – 6 December 1971) was a Pakistani Army officer who was posthumously awarded the Nishan-e-Haider during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. He is the only person ever who received both the Nishan-e-Haider and Sitara-e-Jurat for his bravery. He is regarded as the most decorated officer of the Pakistan Army. and 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.[1] 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.[29] He is married and has three children, two sons and a daughter.[2] He is an avid reader[peacock term] and enjoys hunting and swimming.[30]

Military service[edit]

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.[2] 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.[31]
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.[2]

Role in Counter Terrorism[edit]

As the Inspector General for Training and Evaluation, he enhanced the military colleges in the country and provided unconventional warfare training to the troops.[32] 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.[32]

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.[33]

Chief of Army Staff[edit]

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.[34] Lieutenant General Haroon Aslam, a senior general, resigned over Sharif's elevation.[35] The other more-senior general, Rashad Mahmood was appointed as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.[36] The News reported that General Aslam may have been superseded because of his action in the 1999 coup.[37]

In 2013, Sharif was conferred with Nishan-e-Imtiaz (military).[38] Raheel Sharif retired as Chief of Army Staff (Pakistan) on 29 November 2016.[39]

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."[40]

Upon retiring, Sharif was given 90 acres (36 ha) of land outside Lahore.[41]

Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition[edit]

In April 2017, Raheel got the approval of the Government of Pakistan to serve as head of Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition a 39-nation Islamic military alliance being headquartered in Saudia Arabia.[42][43]


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", thereby relieving them from government pressure.[44]

Raheel Sharif's action of taking up a Saudi employment right after retirement was questioned some of the lawmakers.[45][46][47]

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.[48]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Service Medals
10 Years Service Medal[49]
20 Years Service Medal[49]
30 Years Service Medal[49]
Command and Staff College Centenary Medal[49]
Non-operational Military Awards
Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Order of Excellence Military)[49]
Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Crescent of Excellence)[49]
Commemorative Medal
Qarardad-e-Pakistan Tamgha (Resolution Day Golden Jubilee Medal)[49]
Tamgha-e-Istaqlal (Escalation versus India Medal)[49]
Hijri Tamgha (Hijri Medal)[49]
Tamgha-e-Jamhuriat (Democracy Medal)[49]
Independence Day Golden Jubilee Medal[49]
Tamgha-e-Baqa (Nuclear Test Medal)[49]
Foreign Awards
Order of Abdulaziz al Saud (Saudi Arabia)[50]
Legion of Merit (United States)[51][52][53]
Order of Military Merit (Brazil)[54]
Order of Military Gallantry (Jordan).png Order of the Military Merit (Jordan)[55][56][57][58]
Order of the Merit of Turkey.svg Legion of Merit of Turkey[59][60]


  1. ^ a b c "Luck plays role in Gen Sharif's promotion". The News. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Profile: Lt General Raheel Sharif". Dawn. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Official Profile of Chief of Army Staff". Archived from the original on 9 October 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  4. ^ Mateen Haider (1 January 2013). "Lt Gen Raheel Sharif chosen as new army chief". Dawn. Dawn.Com. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  5. ^ "Pakistan allows General (Retd) Raheel Sharif to lead Saudi-led military alliance". www.geo.tv. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Zarb-e-Azb resulted into more secure, stable Pakistan: Army Chief Gen Raheel". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Karachi: 7 accused arrested in Rangers, police operation – Pakistan – Dunya News". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  8. ^ Shahid, Saleem (29 June 2015). "Khan of Kalat being persuaded to return home". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  9. ^ "People of Balochistan shunned externally-funded terrorists: COAS – Pakistan – Dunya News". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  10. ^ "144 Baloch militants surrender weapons, accepting amnesty offer from government". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  11. ^ Shah, Syed Ali (29 October 2015). "30 militants including two commanders surrender". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  12. ^ Khan, Raza (12 August 2016). "15,000 troops of Special Security Division to protect CPEC projects, Chinese nationals". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  13. ^ "Defence production saved forex worth $1.14b – The Express Tribune". 26 November 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  14. ^ Khan, M. Ilyas (23 November 2016). "Raheel Sharif: The army chief who ruled without a coup". Retrieved 29 May 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  15. ^ "Pakistan's Military Tightens Grip on Security Policy". Time. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  16. ^ "Russia, Pakistan conduct first-ever joint military drills (PHOTOS)". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  17. ^ "General Sharif convenes meeting with US Ambassador – Pakistan – Dunya News". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  18. ^ House, Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, Gateway. "Has Russia lost goodwill in India by conducting military exercises with Pakistan?". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  19. ^ "China, Pakistan to deploy warships to safeguard Balochistan port". 25 November 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  20. ^ "General Raheel Sharif's journey to success". www.geo.tv. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  21. ^ Nauman, Qasim (21 November 2016). "Pakistan Army Chief Raheel Sharif Starts Retirement Tour". Retrieved 29 May 2017 – via www.wsj.com.
  22. ^ "Injured war veterans are national heroes: Gen Raheel Sharif – The Express Tribune". 6 January 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  23. ^ "Ready to serve Pakistan after retirement, says Gen Raheel". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  24. ^ Ahmed, Amin (20 November 2016). "Global index records drop in terrorist activities in Pakistan during 2015". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  25. ^ "70% decline in terrorist attacks in Pakistan – The Express Tribune". 9 September 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  26. ^ Mustafa, Nazia (29 November 2013). "From Sharif to Sharif". Nawaiwaqt Newspaper (in Urdu). Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  27. ^ "After Nishan-e-Haider (Urdu)". urdu.alarabiya.net. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  28. ^ Reuters (23 February 2011). "Lt Gen Raheel Sharif appointed new army chief – The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  29. ^ "Lt. General Raheel Sharif Appointed as Chief of Army Staff". Pakistan Tribune. 27 November 2013. Archived from the original on 28 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  30. ^ "Welcome to ISPR". www.ispr.gov.pk. Archived from the original on 9 October 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  31. ^ Luck plays role in Gen Sharif’s promotion Print Edition The News International, Shakil Shaikh, November 28, 2013 | Retrieved 7 July, 2015
  32. ^ a b Khan, Wajahat S. (29 November 2013). "Knows the rules, makes a pincer move". thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  33. ^ "Profile: Raheel Sharif, Pakistan's 'strategic' army head". BBC. 27 November 2013.
  34. ^ Waraich, Omar (27 November 2013). "Gen. Raheel Sharif: Pakistan's New Army Chief Assumes Pivotal Job | TIME.com". World.time.com. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  35. ^ "Haroon Aslam resigns following Gen Sharif's promotion to army chief". Tribune. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  36. ^ "Gen Raheel Sharif new COAS, Gen Rashad Mahmood CJCSC". The News International. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  37. ^ "Lt General Haroon Aslam resigns". The News International. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  38. ^ "President honours army chief, JCSC head with Nishan-e-Imtiaz". Tribune. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  39. ^ "General Janjua may be next ISI DG". nation.com.pk. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  40. ^ Afghanistan: Old problems, new hope, economist.com.
  41. ^ https://www.economist.com/asia/2018/12/22/pakistans-army-is-behind-an-unprecedented-clampdown-on-the-media Pakistan’s army is behind an unprecedented clampdown on the media
  42. ^ "Retired Pakistani General in Riyadh to Lead Saudi Coalition". 22 April 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  43. ^ editor-m. "Iran Regime Not OK With Islamic NATO". Retrieved 29 May 2017.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  44. ^ https://www.dawn.com/news/1303429
  45. ^ https://www.dawn.com/news/1346100
  46. ^ https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-39525449
  47. ^ https://www.dawn.com/news/1307030
  48. ^ https://www.ft.com/content/f9c2661e-a569-11e5-97e1-a754d5d9538c
  49. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Raheel Sharif meets Chuck Hagel". 9 December 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  50. ^ "Gen Raheel meets with Saudi political, military leadership". Dawn. 5 February 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  51. ^ "Army chief conferred US Legion of Merit medal". Dawn. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  52. ^ "Army chief relays concerns about Indian ceasefire violations to US: report". The Express Tribune. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  53. ^ "Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif conferred US Legion of Merit medal". TheNewstribe. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  54. ^ "General Raheel Sharif decorated with Brazil's 'Order of Merit'". Dawn. 25 November 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  55. ^ "Gen Raheel awarded Jordanian medal of merit". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  56. ^ "Gen Sharif conferred with Jordanian Medal of Merit". arynews.tv. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  57. ^ Reporter, The Newspaper's Staff (26 April 2016). "Jordanian medal of merit conferred on COAS". www.dawn.com. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  58. ^ "Medal of merit: Jordan decorates Gen Raheel with award – The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  59. ^ "COAS Raheel Sharif awarded Turkish Legend of Merit". arynews.tv. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  60. ^ "War against terror: Pakistan stands with Turkey, says General Raheel – The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 13 October 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2016.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Ashfaq Pervez Kayani
Chief of Army Staff
Succeeded by
Qamar Javed Bajwa