Pakistan

LAHORE (Staff Report) – Soon after Pakistan’s powerful Army Chief General Raheel Sharif on Monday announced to step down at the end of his tenure in November, people across the country got overwhelmed and called for an extension in his service.

“Nearly 90 percent of the region (Khyber Pkahtunkhwa) is in peace. Public is really happy with him (Gen Raheel),” a young man from Peshawar told Daily Pakistan.

Read: I will retire on due date: General Raheel Sharif

“No other person (General) can replace him. He holds a grand personality, and deserves extension for his efforts in improving the deteriorated situation of law and order in KPK,” added Yahya Khan, a labourer.

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People in Quetta also came in favour of the extension for Gen Raheel, saying he (COAS) changed the fate of Balochistan. “We have never felt safer than now, knowing Raheel Sharif is in-charge,” said Fawad Khan, a university student.

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“Today, the situation of security is much better in educational institutions, mosques and other religious places. Credit goes to General Raheel Sharif.”

From Karachi, people also voiced their confidence in the army chief, saying: “We can work day and night without any fear. This was not possible before the Rangers operation that was initiated by the incumbent chief.”

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“Keeping in view the progress in the situation of law and order in the port city, Raheel Sharif should be given the extension, at least a year or two,” said Adnan Rasheed, a banker.

Read more: Zardari, Shaikh Rasheed welcome COAS’s retirement decision

Shahbaz from Lahore said: “We will stand with General Raheel Sharif and Pakistan Army till our last blood and every drop of our blood belongs to this land and Pakistan Army.

“If former army chief Ashraf Pervez Kiyani could stay in office for six good years, why can’t Raheel Sharif. He is a better general than Kiyani, to me,” opined the civil engineer.

There were also many others who welcomed the decision, and hoped Gen Raheel will be replaced by another brilliant and professional army chief who will serve in the country’s best interest.

Pakistan's new army chief General Raheel Sharif (R) and outgoing army chief General Ashfaq Kayani attend the change of command ceremony in Rawalpindi on November 29, 2013. General Raheel Sharif on November 29 formally took over as the head of Pakistan's army, the most powerful position in the troubled military-dominated nation which is battling a homegrown Taliban insurgency. AFP PHOTO/Aamir QURESHI

General Raheel Sharif replaced General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani on November 27, 2013 when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif formally confirmed his new position. He is due to retire in November this year.

As per rules of armed forces of Pakistan, an army chief can serve for three years. President of Pakistan can extend the service of Army Chief on the advice of Prime Minister of Pakistan, and with the consultation of top military brass.