ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has paid tribute to the services and contributions of the outgoing Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif.
The Prime Minister, while hosting a farewell reception for the Army Chief at the PM House, said that family of General Raheel Sharif are known for the dedication and defence for the nation.
He said that General Sharif had served as a exemplary solider and commander of the armed forces, who worked for the elimination of terrorism and restoring peace in the country, and has proved beyond doubt that he is one of the finest military leaders of this generation.
“Three years earlier in this month, General Raheel Sharif was appointed to this position for his military abilities, leadership qualities, and his integrity,” said the Prime Minister.
“It was under his leadership that Pakistan tackled the menace of internal threats, successfully established the writ of the state, and reclaimed every inch of territory under our sovereign control.”
He further added Pakistan can take pride in the Operation Zarb-e-Azab which is recognised as the most robust and successful anti-terrorism operation anywhere in the world, and had made the world aware of our unflinching resolve to fight terrorism.
“I must appreciate that General Raheel Sharif led from the front. We found him on the front lines of our forces repeatedly boosting the morale of our jawans and young officers.”
Nawaz Sharif said that General Raheel Sharif has also dedicated to the care of the families of the martyrs as token of respect for their services to the country.
He concluded that he had took his advice, worked together and the nation was much safer than in 2013 and will continue to do seek his advice.
The Army Chief thanked the Prime Minister for the kind words and for his support.
The top civilian and military leadership was present at the occasion.
This included Chief of Naval Staff Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, Chief of Air Staff Air Marsall Sohail Aman, Director General ISI Lt. General Rizwan Aktar, Director General ISPR Lt. General Asim Saleem Bajwa, Director General MI, D, Corps Commander and principal staff officers.
The four generals among which the next Army Chief will be selected, Lt. Gen Zubair Hayat, Lt. Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad, Lt. Gen Javed Iqbal Ramday and Lt. Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa were also present.
Among the civilian leadership who were present include Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanweer, Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, National Security Advisor General (retd) Naseer Janjua, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Abdul Qadir Baloch and other ministers and advisors.
Later, the Army Chief had a one-on-one meeting with the Prime Minister where they discussed a range of issues including the appointment of the new Army Chief.
The Ministry of Defence has handed over the summary for the appointment of the next Army Chief to the Prime Minister. The successor will be announced during a change of commander ceremony on November 29.