ISLAMABAD: Lieutenant General Raheel Sharif was appointed as the new Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) and Lieutenant General Rashad Mehmood was appointed as the new Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff Committee (CJCSC) on Wednesday, Express News reported.
On the advice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, President Mamnoon Hussain approved the promotion of the two officers to the top most military posts in the country.
The Prime Minister hosted a farewell dinner in the honour of outgoing Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani in Islamabad on Wednesday night, Radio Pakistan reported.
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee designate General Rashid Mehmood and COAS-designate General Raheel Sharif also attended the dinner.
The change of command comes with the country facing a daunting array of challenges – a homegrown Taliban insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives, vexed relations with India and the winding-down of the 12-year NATO mission in neighbouring Afghanistan.
Sharif, whose elder brother Major Shabbir Sharif won Pakistan’s highest military award, the Nishaan-e-Haider for his martyrdom in the 1971 war with India, will formally take command on Thursday.
A message from the office of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif confirmed Raheel had been made COAS and Rashad had been made CJCSC.
Congratulations began to pour in soon after the announcement, with the former president and COAS General (retd) Pervez Musharraf joining in.
Nawaz met Raheel and Rashad at separate meetings earlier today. Both meetings lasted for about half an hour.
Raheel was working as the Principal Staff Officer (PSO) to General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani as well as the Inspector General Training and Evaluation (IGT&E).
Rashad was working as the PSO to Kayani as well as the Chief of General Staff (CGS).
Seniority wise, Raheel ranks third among the list of generals considered as likely to get the position.
Departing commander Kayani has served as army chief since 2007 and has been given much credit for resisting the temptation to meddle overtly in politics.
When he confirmed his retirement last month he stressed that the armed forces “fully support and want to strengthen” democracy.
• Commander, Gujranwala XXX Corps (as three-star/Lt General)
• Commandant of Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul (as two-star/Maj General)
• General Officer Commanding, Lahore (as two-star/Maj General)
• Commander, Lahore IV Corps (as three-star/Lt General)
• DG-CTW at the ISI (where he essentially re-established the pivotal Counterrorism, or ‘C’ Branch, of Aabpara)
• Military Secretary to Nawaz Sharif-era president, Rafiq Tarar (as one-star/Brigadier)
• UN Brigade Commander (as one-star/Brigadier)