A look back at Gen. Raheel’s illustrious career
ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI: As General Raheel Sharif kicked off his farewell meetings on Monday, here’s a look back at the illustrious career of Pakistan’s incumbent army chief, which is nearing its end.
When General Raheel Sharif was passed the baton of command in 2013 by his predecessor Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, the circumstances were not altogether bright. Suicide bombings and incidents of terrorism were quite common in the country. However, General Raheel rose to the challenge and proved the English expression, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough gets going’ true.
After becoming army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif took important, crucial and decisive actions which steered Pakistan out of a significant number of problems. It was General Raheel Sharif’s leadership which ensured that militancy and terrorism were rooted out of FATA, especially the Waziristan region and thousands of displaced TDPs were restored to their original places of residence. Not only that, his contribution in restoring peace to Karachi and making sure the CPEC project was initiated, has been praised numerous time by supporters and critics alike.
Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched by Pakistan Army officially on June 15, 2014 against militants who had time and again attacked the country. Through well-coordinated and effective airstrikes coupled with advancements by the infantry, militant outfits once considered invincible such as the TTP, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Al-Qaeda, Jundullah and Islamic Movement for Uzbekistan, were rendered toothless by army. Gen. Raheel was always at the forefront; often mingling with soldiers in Waziristan during Eid occasions and visiting tribal elders to take them into confidence regarding Pakistan Army’s operations.
Gen. Raheel Sharif also took considerable care of TDPs in Pakistan and oft visited their camps. His dedication to the cause of TDPs ensured that they safely returned to their residences and lived a peaceful life yet again.
When Pakistan Army successfully started pushing back Afghanistan-based militants into their country, terrorists started using Afghan soil to launch attacks into Pakistan. Gen. Raheel ensured proper monitoring of Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan and the practice of proper scrutinization of Afghan immigrants entering Pakistan was also undertaken during his tenure.
Another significant highlight of Gen. Raheel Sharif’s tenure was to have the Pakistan Military Parade restored after seven long years, on March 23, 2015. General Raheel Sharif is also accredited with keeping the armed forces away from politics. Political commentators and analysts have always praised him for his professional capabilities.
General Raheel Sharif will hang his boots on November 29, 2016. He will undoubtedly leave behind a golden legacy for many to admire and emulate.