Pakistan

General Raheel Sharif turns 59 today

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif turns 59 today. Here’s a brief look at his life and achievements.

Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif was born on June 16th, 1956 in Quetta to Major and Mrs Muhammad Sharif. His father was a Major in Pakistan Army and his elder brother Shabbir Sharif also secured a high rank in the military.

Raheel’s elder brother Shabbir Sharif was a close friend and course-mate of former army chief General (retired) Pervez Musharraf. Shabbir Sharif brought much glory to the Sharif family when he was martyred in the 1971 conflict with India, which earned him a Nishan-e-Haider. The coveted medal is the highest form of award or recognition in the country for the military. Another Nishan-e-Haider, Major Aziz Bhatti, is his uncle. In this way, Sharif is closely related to not one but two soldiers who have secured Nishan-e-Haider.

After completing his education at Government College of Lahore, General Raheel Sharif enrolled in the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA). General Raheel Sharif received his military commission in 1976. Sharif has been known to be a ‘soldier to the core’ as he is a battle hardened general, who has commanded several infantry units along the Line Of Control in Kashmir.

General Raheel Sharif has served as the head of Pakistan Military Academy, Pakistan’s two- year accredited federal service military academy. His last appointment, before he assumed the mantle of Chief of Army Staff, was inspector-general of training and evaluation at the army headquarters in Rawalpindi.

On 27th November 2013, General Raheel Sharif was appointed as Pakistan’s 15th Chief of Army Staff by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

General Raheel has encountered significant difficulties and challenges as he assumed his new role as army chief. A deadly attack at the Karachi International Airport last year forced General Raheel Sharif to launch a decisive Operation Zarb e Azb against all militant outfits in Pakistan. In one year, more than 2,500 militants have been killed and more than 800 hideouts have been destroyed.

General Raheel Sharif is known to be a straight-talking general. He is known to be a man free from personal or political ambitions. Considering the state of Pakistan’s affairs, General Raheel Sharif seems to be the most suited personality to lead a prestigious institution, such as Pakistan Army.

Currently the army chief is in Russia to boost military and defense cooperation between both countries.

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