RAWALPINDI – Outgoing Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif chaired a farewell Corps Commanders’ Conference at General Headquarters on Monday.
The corps commanders paid tribute to Gen Raheel for his leadership and professional acumen, and lauded his service to the country, ISPR said in a statement.
General Raheel Sharif is set to retire as 15th Chief of Army Staff on Nov 29, Tuesday. The new army chief, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, will take over as COAS on Tuesday.
During the Monday’s meeting, incoming army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, corps commanders and principal staff officers were present at the meeting, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
Gen Raheel congratulated the army chief designate for his elevation to the rank of General and appointment as COAS, the ISPR added.
Gen Raheel said it was a matter of great pride for him to have commanded the most battle-hardened army in the world for three years.
He appreciated the corps commanders for their cooperation during his tenure and said the successes achieved during his tenure would not have been possible without contributions by each one of them.
Earlier, Gen Raheel told journalists that he would like to dedicate his post-retirement life to the welfare of the families of slain soldiers.
Gen Raheel’s legacy
General Raheel Sharif took over the office of Chief of Army Chief on 29 November 2013. During his tenure, he 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 Raheel also developed a new brigade-level military unit to help protect and secure the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which runs through Balochistan province. He 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 Nawaz Sharif in control of social and economic policy.
He also overruled Nawaz Sharif on any attempted peace overtures with India. General Raheel Sharif reconciled Pakistan with America by striking against militant groups near the Afghan border, the Pakistani military carried out its first joint military exercises with Russia, and Pakistan deepend relations with China, are his signature foreign policy achievements.
He became the first Pakistani general to retire on time and not seek an extension in over twenty years. General Sharif has said that he is “ready to serve Pakistan” even after his retirement through helping military veterans.
He is widely credited with reducing terrorism inside the country, violence in the country has been reduced to its lowest level since 2006 with an overall decline of 70% in terrorist attacks under his tenure.