The outgoing Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif paid farewell visits to President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the PM House and Presidency Palace, a day prior to relinquishing his duties as army chief.
The army chief is set to retire on Nov 29, which is when the new army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa will take over as COAS.
The premier praised General Raheel for his valuable services rendered as army chief, extended wishes for the latter’s post-retirement life and his future endeavours, a statement from the PM House said.
According to a statement by the President’s House said the President lauded General Raheel Sharif for his contribution for the country’s defence.
“General Raheel thanked President Mamnoon for his sincere cooperation and guidance in performing his professional duties.”
On November 24, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hosted a farewell dinner in honour of General Raheel and said that he proved beyond a shadow of the doubt that he was one of the finest military leaders of his generation.
He also said that as the army chief, Gen Raheel made a vast difference in the service of our country. “We have successfully established the writ of the state and reclaimed every inch of territory under our sovereign control,” the premier remarked.
As Gen Raheel steps down, it will be the first time in decades that Pakistan’s army chief will retire after completion of his term without any extension. His two predecessors – Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Pervez Musharraf – remained in the top slot for six and 10 years, respectively.
Although Gen Raheel had himself announced almost a year ago that he would not take any extension, speculation about whether he would be hanging up his uniform continued until earlier this week until the military’s media wing confirmed publicly that he had started a farewell tour of army formations across the country.