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RAWALPINDI: Army Chief Gen Raheel has kicked off his farewell visits from today with addressing a huge gathering of soldiers of Army and Rangers at Lahore Garrison, a statement from the ISPR said.

The COAS, who is due to retire later this month, had on 26th January this year said that he will retire on due date. “I don’t believe in extension and will retire on the due date,” he was quoted as saying by the army spokesman.

He has been immensely popular among ordinary Pakistanis, who see him as having effectively tackled crime and corruption, besides carrying the fight against terrorism to unstable tribal areas.

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Gen Asim Bajwa ✔ @AsimBajwaISPR
#COAS kicks off his farewell visits beginning from Lhr today.Meets,addresses,thanks huge gathering of soldiers of Army&Rangers at Garrison-1
12:52 PM – 21 Nov 2016
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Addressing the troops today, Gen Raheel thanked all ranks of the Army and Rangers for their services under his command and said it was a matter of great pride for him to have commanded the finest Army in the World.

The COAS said that the accomplishment of peace and stability today was no ordinary task. It was our sacrifices and joint national resolve that helped us in offsetting all odds against our country.

We are fully prepared to respond to any challenge and no one could dare cast an evil eye on Pakistan, the COAS emphasised.

Gen Raheel said that Op Zarb-e-Azb has resulted into a more secure and stable Pakistan with a sense of greater hope and direction. Pakistani people are the most resilient and brave nation in the world who have always persevered in adverse conditions.

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Gen Asim Bajwa ✔ @AsimBajwaISPR
Accomplishment of peace&stability no ordinary task.Our sacrifices&joint national resolve helped us in off setting all odds against country-2
12:52 PM – 21 Nov 2016
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He urged the troops to follow the norms of their rich military tradition with even greater vigor and continue serving their people with utmost dedication, resilience and greater sense of sacrifice.

After Lahore, the COAS will pay farewell visits to Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi.

A grand farewell dinner will be held for the outgoing chief on Nov 28, while the ‘Change of Command’ ceremony would be held on 29th of this month.

Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Rashad Mahmood, who is also retiring began his farewell meetings today. A farewell dinner in his honour is scheduled on Nov 27.