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Rasheel Sharif to be new Pak Army chief

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Rasheel Sharif to be new Pak Army chief
Rasheel Sharif to be new Pak Army chief

Ending weeks of speculation, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday appointed Lt Gen Raheel Sharif as Pakistan’s new Army Chief and Lt Gen Rashid Mehmood as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.

Prime Minister Sharif recommended the names of the two commanders which were endorsed by President Mamnoon Hussain.

The President promoted both the Lt Generals to General rank.

Lt Gen Sharif will replace 61-year-old Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani who would hang his boots on Friday after being at the helm of the Army for six years.

Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Sharif held separate meetings here with Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Mahmood and Inspector General Training and Evaluation Lt Gen Sharif.

“The meetings discussed professional matters and matters relating to national security,” a senior government official told PTI.

Lt Gen Sharif’s prior appointments include Commander, Gujranwala XXX Corps, Commandant of Pakistan Military Academy Kakul and General Officer Commanding Lahore.

Lt Gen Mahmood has served as the Corps Commander of Lahore. He was also the military secretary to former President Rafiq Tarar.

Gen. Mahmood comes from Baloch Regiment and had served under General Kayani as ISI deputy director general.

Both Generals have superseded Lt Gen Haroon Aslam, currently Chief of Logistics Staff and the senior-most General after Gen Kayani. He is scheduled to retire in April.

In a surprise move, Gen Kayani had scotched speculation of a possible extension by issuing a statement on October 6 saying, “My tenure ends on 29th November 2013. On that day I will retire.”

A change of command ceremony has been planned for November 29. Mr. Sharif will host a farewell dinner for Gen Kayani on Wednesday.

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