ISLAMABAD – Soon after an ISPR statement confirmed on Monday that Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif has kicked off his farewell meetings, tributes are flooding in from across the country for dealing a decisive blow to terrorism in the country and keeping the armed forces away from politics.

Under the hashtag #ArmyChief, Pakistani people tweeted:

General Raheel Sharif took the command of Pakistan Army on 29 November 2013, succeeding General Kayani. He has been popular with the people of Pakistan for dealing a decisive blow to militants through Operation Zarb-e-Azb as well as keeping the army out of politics.

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

He is due to retire on 29 November this year. A new army chief is yet to be named by the Prime Minister.

Also on Monday, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif stated that the next army chief would be chosen by the PM and that the premier would consider Gen. Raheel’s point of view as well. He lauded the COAS role in eliminating militancy from across the country, saying his services for the country will be remembered forever.