Haroon Aslam resigns following Gen Sharif's promotion to army chief

Published: November 28, 2013

Lt General Haroon Aslam. PHOTO: FILE

Chief of Logistics Staff (CLS) Lieutenant-General Haroon Aslam has tendered his resignation, Express News reported on Thursday.

Haroon Aslam was working as the principal staff officer (PSO) to General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and was the senior-most officer after him.

The announcement that General Raheel Sharif will formally become Pakistan’s 15th Army chief on Friday means that Gen Aslam had been superseded, thereby leading to his resignation.

Aslam did not attend Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s dinner on Wednesday night and his resignation means that he will not attend the change of command ceremony either, The News reported.

Aslam took part in army operations against the Taliban in Swat in 2009 and served as chief of the paramilitary Rangers in Punjab.

He was a key figure in the late 2000s western front operations, during which the SSG (Special Forces) moved into a frontline counterterror role from the traditional alpine role.

Reader Comments (82)

  • Raheel
    Nov 28, 2013 - 11:55AM

    must not be too sad generals in Pakistan are billionaires by the time of their retirement

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  • Mamu
    Nov 28, 2013 - 11:57AM

    A rather mute tone from ET. Why is that?Recommend

  • Dajjal
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:01PM

    Oh Great, now he will switch side and join the Taliban…. we are doomed!!!

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  • Amer
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:01PM

    He can probably start a new DHA scheme or something now.

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  • blackRose
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:03PM

    Why always senior most is superseded. A big loss, looks like a true brave soldier.

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  • AK47
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:03PM

    @Raheel:
    You can say that coz your name coincides with the newly appointed COAS.

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  • Eshal
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:04PM

    @Raheel: Money is NOT everything!!

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  • Jibran
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:09PM

    @Raheel:
    True, but why retain a loser while letting go the competent ones?

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  • Bunty
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:11PM

    Nawaz Sharif made another mistake to start a new saga… He did not learn from past… Nawaz sharif is still the same as he was in 1998

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  • Voice of Gilgit
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:16PM

    If you not follow the seniority or constitution and select people with political affiliation then this would happen.

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  • Usman
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:16PM

    nawaz and company,due to previous experience, don’t have guts to appoint a SSG commando as CAOS, therefore he appointed from general staff.

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  • pakarmyappreciater
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:19PM

    @Raheel:
    you should shut up if you cannot appreciate his professionalism and services for this country

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  • A J Khan
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:25PM

    Most honorable way and traditional action of a good soldier, to create space for his junior to command with compromise.

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  • Akhtarrao
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:31PM

    It was expected, senior do not obey junior”, that is principal and logical stand by the Gen
    But Nawaz did not learn from the bitter past.

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  • Kamran Ahmad Rajput
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:31PM

    Prime Minister does not know the definition of merit in Army and my point of view is that in Pakistan there is no System in every Ministry of Pakistan.

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  • Col. Asad
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:33PM

    He is most of the most competent and professional General in the history of Pakistan Army. I am sad to see him go and I will miss him

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  • Haroon
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:38PM

    What has money got to do with serving your Country?

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  • Ali
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:39PM

    Why chose between the top 3? Why not just make the senior most the COAS. There is no need to follow seniority in the Army if it will not be followed for the higher most post.

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  • Vikas
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:47PM

    Why resign? You should coup.

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  • Jax
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:47PM

    @Raheel:
    Too naive if you see it that way. The only reason he resigned is because ONCE again seniority has been superseded. On top of that, he hasn’t even been appointed CJCSC. Would you like to working under your juniors?

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  • Pakistani
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:49PM

    @Raheel:
    Shame on you Mr. Raheel.
    If you do nt know then just shutup your mouth.

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  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:53PM

    This is natural fact what Haroon Aslam is going to do and Haroon Aslam has to do so because a deserving senior officer can’t work under his junior any where in any office…..

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  • Caresless Whispers
    Nov 28, 2013 - 12:54PM

    Good luck & thank you for ur services

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  • Rashazz
    Nov 28, 2013 - 1:13PM

    Where is merit. The senior most should have been appointed the coast andcould have left a positive impact

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  • Spyrogyra
    Nov 28, 2013 - 1:20PM

    Farewell and best of luck General. We thank you for your services to this country and for setting yet another example how professional soldiers and gentlemen officers (re)act.

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  • Anon
    Nov 28, 2013 - 1:29PM

    he had a few months before retirement…. please let go of your biases and analyze things objectively…

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  • Nov 28, 2013 - 2:04PM

    And here, we start, making connections.Recommend

  • observer
    Nov 28, 2013 - 2:27PM

    @blackRose:

    Why always senior most is superseded.

    Because it is impossible to ‘Supersede’ the Junior most.

    If you don’t believe me try it yourself.

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  • gujranwala789
    Nov 28, 2013 - 2:33PM

    Good to see people with iron rod in their necks leaving the army, no need to have such arrogant chaps in the army.

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  • Zulfiqar Baig
    Nov 28, 2013 - 2:37PM

    This is the tragedy of this nation. Leaders seek only their political gain. Nawaz Sharif again created a rift in Army as he tried in 1998, he did not learn anything from the Past.Recommend

  • Masood
    Nov 28, 2013 - 2:48PM

    Well this is the hardest thing in career to accpt your junior staff as your boss… this cant be accept by human instints..

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  • adnan
    Nov 28, 2013 - 2:49PM

    This general was leader of team which arrested Nawas sharif and other politicians in on 12 october 1999

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  • kapt slim
    Nov 28, 2013 - 3:02PM

    Dont take it in a wrong sense …. its a tradition … Army officers tend to resign when they are superseded ….

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  • Ali
    Nov 28, 2013 - 3:08PM

    I think Nawaz want to destroy the only institution which we have in the country..This the third time he has done with the army.

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  • Raheel
    Nov 28, 2013 - 3:16PM

    @AK47: wish the financial fortunes were same as well

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  • Shamy
    Nov 28, 2013 - 3:16PM

    When will the time come when these people start thinking of their country first rather than who wasnt given due credit ?

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  • Raheel
    Nov 28, 2013 - 3:17PM

    @Eshal: yeah it’s NOT everything when u’ve got it good man

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  • Raheel
    Nov 28, 2013 - 3:35PM

    @observer: maybe cuz he was the director of operations something at the time of general pervez musharraf coup on october 12, 1999, secondly because he was to retire around June next year but anyway as I said why sad when billions remain in shape of commercial and residential plots and agriculture acres plus fat jobs in public and education sector

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  • Ali
    Nov 28, 2013 - 3:51PM

    So ET is quoting The News for its reports, since when?

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  • hasan
    Nov 28, 2013 - 3:54PM

    this man our PM always creates mess in every of his decision !

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  • Raheel
    Nov 28, 2013 - 4:05PM

    @Mamu: By the way ET happens to be the only major news website in Pakistan that allows frank comments from its readers/viewers and tolerate criticism against ET too (though not against its writers in opinion). Others would just put out “your comment awaits moderation bluh bluh” banner and would never give place to comments. Pretty sport ET

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  • liaqat
    Nov 28, 2013 - 4:08PM

    What’s wrong with you people. Haroon Aslam was one of the DGMO’s instrumental in removing Nawaz Sharif during musharaf’s coup. Why would you pick someone you can’t trust? NS was given 4 names he picked two from the list. This is acceptable

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  • Jax
    Nov 28, 2013 - 4:33PM

    @Raheel:
    Yes punish the guy for following chain of command. Chaa gaye ho tm yr. What a logic! Btw all top 3 runners were due to retire by 2nd quarter of 2014. Check your facts before using them in the argument!

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  • PakArmy
    Nov 28, 2013 - 4:43PM

    @Vikas:
    Says a Pakistan hating inferiority complex riddled individual on a Pakistani news site

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  • Jax
    Nov 28, 2013 - 4:45PM

    It is such a shame people are saying that he has made enough money. What they aren’t talking about is MERIT HAS AGAIN BEEN IGNORED. Tells a lot about what kind of nation we are by the shallowness of comments here.

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  • Pakistani1
    Nov 28, 2013 - 4:45PM

    @Vikas:
    Meanwhile a hindu nationalist murderer is being elected PM in india

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  • JD
    Nov 28, 2013 - 4:49PM

    I’m not sure if many know about this. Lt. General Haroon Aslam was the officer who led SWAT Operation (this much you all know). He was the first officer to step on the premises of Swat (heliborne operation). He said that he will lead and no one else should go before him. That’s what you call a true brave leader.
    Secondly, from certain sources I heard, when 2 SSG officers were abducted in Swat and were tortured beyond your imagination.. their bodies were thrown near the army headquarter. He was notified. He was in Waziristan. He returned immediately, summoned all the taliban prisoners in detention, asked the army officers to get steel pipes. And did something extreme vulgar (resulting in the death of those detainees). They were thrown from helicopter right into the base of Taliban.
    No wonder NS did not select him. If anyone had the tendency to impose martial law, he would be second to General Tariq only. Gen Tariq by the way is the only army officer in Pakistan who travel with all the flags and stars of a General in Waziristan. He says, its either me or the Taliban.

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  • Rasikh
    Nov 28, 2013 - 4:57PM

    Congratulations! Our news channels get one more defence analyst!

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  • Xnain
    Nov 28, 2013 - 5:21PM

    I am not able to understand why is the culture of “not working under the Junior” is promoted in Army? Seniority doesn’t necessarily groom the leadership skills and our armymen should recognize it. It is a very wrong tradition which should be discouraged in army specifically and public service in general.

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  • Spock
    Nov 28, 2013 - 5:43PM

    Resigning doesnt mean its forever. Ask Afridi

    some mukmuka and he will be back.

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  • romm
    Nov 28, 2013 - 5:43PM

    @Xnain:
    Funny!

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  • azmat khan
    Nov 28, 2013 - 5:54PM

    General Haroon did not attend Prime Minister’s dinner.It was sufficient to show his resentment and grievance but he should not have resigned as the appointment is the constitutional right of the PM.

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  • alladitta
    Nov 28, 2013 - 6:13PM

    @Vikas: keep your fingers crossed, the molana army wont disappoint, the coup is coming, the coup is coming. Prepare you low life civilians.

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  • Ali S
    Nov 28, 2013 - 6:14PM

    Nawaz Sharif wants the most spineless candidate to head the army because he’s still paranoid that a firm, powerful army leader might turn out to be another Musharraf. So-called ‘democracy’ (and I use that term loosely) aside, Musharraf was the best thing to have happened to this country’s economy.Recommend

  • Sajjad Ashraf
    Nov 28, 2013 - 6:25PM

    A decision of honor and highly commendable. Well done General.

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  • Rex Minor
    Nov 28, 2013 - 6:31PM

    @Xnain:

    Your assumption is incorrect! All promotions after the rank of Major in the military are determined on proficiency and not on seniority basis. Even as an outside observer and having no knowledge of the individuals profiles, I had the impression that from the three top brass with equal officer grade, the senior most will be given the post. The prime minister made the right decision, considering that General Aslam was involved with military operations involved the Talibans and was also head of the para military in Punjab disqualifies him.

    Rex Minor

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  • Vikas
    Nov 28, 2013 - 6:31PM

    @Pakistani1:
    Muslim belong to Pakistan after Partition. No one needs them in India. :-)

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  • Vikas
    Nov 28, 2013 - 6:33PM

    @PakArmy:
    Yes, after loosing all the wars with PakArmy, I have developed that complex.

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  • Khurram
    Nov 28, 2013 - 6:34PM

    General resigns…something fishy…

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  • Raheel
    Nov 28, 2013 - 6:34PM

    @Jax: following chain of a command that is breaching the law and constitution of the country is generally unlawful in the world. Well his retirement in 2014 became more relevant with his past record.

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  • Asif
    Nov 28, 2013 - 7:10PM

    You are not posting my comments; very strange on being selective policy by ET

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  • Ashraf
    Nov 28, 2013 - 7:48PM

    He was the coup mastermind for Musharraf when he was still in the air. Gen Haroon Aslam is a pastmaster at conducting military coup. Good choice not to select him as COAS.

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  • Muslim Leaguer
    Nov 28, 2013 - 8:01PM

    Good riddance!
    General Haroon Aslam (then Brigadier) was at the forefront of the military coup on the night of 12th October 1999. The key player of the coup d’état & under-trial prisoner Pervez Musharraf has already confessed that “he was not alone in the coup” and therefore they all should also “be tried & punished under article-6″.
    A sitting COAS, with almighty power in uniform, could have impeded the legal proceedings and impeded justice.
    Due to his over-expectations, General Haroon Aslam was made Chief of Logisitc Staff- a less important position implying that his chances for becoming COAS were very dim…
    In any case Haroon Aslam was due to retire on attaining the maximum age on 9th April 2014.

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  • Mubashir
    Nov 28, 2013 - 8:09PM

    Do this sort of thing also happen with other armies of the world? Did we ever hear of a US army chief resigning if not appointed as a successor due to his seniority?

    Just curious.

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  • yasin
    Nov 28, 2013 - 8:47PM

    Nawaz sharif and for that matter any civilian PM is not and canot be a defence expert. The most authentic opinion and recommendations were of gen Kiyani who had very correctly recommended the two senior most officers for the position of CJCS and COAS respectively. NS ignored his recommendations and comitted the same mistake which he had committed in the past by appointing junior generals ( gen waheed and Mushraff) as COAS and both booted him out. Earlier Bhutto did not adhere to the advice of Gen Tikka Khan to appoint the senior most officer his successor and preferred Zia by suprseding 6 seniors. Rest is history. Wish and prey to Almight that this history is not repeated again. God forbade if it so happend, there is no dearth of Judges and consitutional experts to legitimize the same. Supporters from our viberant media will also be there. On political front, JI is always ready to offer its shoulders .. may it be Yahya Khan, Zia , Mushraff or any new adventurist. As for Haroon’s total disqualification in the eyes of NS, the truth is what has been stated by adnan that he was the leader of the team which arrested NS and co on 12 October 1999.Recommend

  • Luciferous
    Nov 28, 2013 - 9:04PM

    @Col. Asad: He is most of the most competent and professional General in the history of Pakistan Army. I am sad to see him go and I will miss him

    Doesn’t say “Retd” after “Col. Asad” so presume to be in active service.
    What happened to discipline and discretion?

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Nov 28, 2013 - 9:59PM

    Two points after reading so much nonesence. Its not called resigning in army. Its called putting down papers which is equal to retiring. He will get all retirement benefits and perks. Resignation is not alternative to retirement with honour. Retiring after serving for so many years as three star general is not a small achievement. He should be proud of that. He should blame no one except his stars.
    Secondly, something about Seniority. Its also a misused concept. Suppose two officer are asked to join their unit at the same day. One officer could not make it due to some emergency. The officer who joined on time will remain senior to the second one throughout their career. Joining force one or two days or one or two years should not make any difference esp.after 35 years of service. Also why cann’t a senior work under a junior. They are all servants of the country, paid by people.

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  • Parvez
    Nov 28, 2013 - 10:22PM

    The honourable thing to do. Recommend

  • Zahir Qaiser
    Nov 28, 2013 - 10:35PM

    So the guy didn’t bother to resign when high treason was committed in 1999 and 2007 but whenan equal albeit technically less experienced office got promoted it was too much too bear?

    Clearly personal interests trump any patriotism in this country.

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  • Shaikh Mohommad
    Nov 28, 2013 - 11:11PM

    Nawaz Sharif has not learned any lesson. He picked up Musharraf and appointed as C in C and Musharraf bit the hand that fed him. The Army should have its own rules of promotion, etc. without any interference from the Government. There should be no interference in promotion even from USA. Why a foreign country is given such a chance to rule over us.Recommend

  • Amin
    Nov 29, 2013 - 1:53AM

    Why does not Nawaz sharif become minister of education and let Ch Nisar become Prime Minister.

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  • Common Pakistani
    Nov 29, 2013 - 2:55AM

    Generals and Army Haters at their best..
    Losers who cant do anything in life start criticizing like illiterates.
    We are fed up of listening about plots and DHA, please compare the perks of a general with that of a Patwari in this country. Atleast Generals pay for the plots, they dont grab it like most of our civil sevants and politicians.
    Please stop criticizing those who serve this nation.
    Who lay their lives to defend it.
    Who are there when every one else fails, may it be flood, earth quack or even restoration of law and order in cities,
    Someone rightly said that people of Pakistan are mentally sick as a whole and needs something for criticizing all the time, we always see that glass is half empty and this approach will ruin us.
    A general serves for at least three decades and climbs the Ladder after going through unimaginable hardships. please do something productive for this country instead of running your mouths.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Nov 29, 2013 - 5:10AM

    What I have heard from army officers, real competition for promotions start from Major rank. Out of hundred majors about ten percent become Lt. Colonels ( for example). In this process many junior Majors become Lt. Colonels and superseded ones (most probably) when see no chance of further promotion, choose to retire. Same process is adopted from Colonel/Brigadier/Major General/Lt. General to General.
    My point is that Lt. General (Retired) Haroon Aslam has gone through this process at least 4 or 5 times when he was picked from behind and given promotion. This is the first time that someone behind in line has been preferred over him. This is the way how things work in Army. Its a normal and honourable process. Media and people should not make it an issue.

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  • Nov 29, 2013 - 8:30AM

    Very sad . Being a Muslims and a true Pakistani I Cant understand why seniors always superseded? Look our Pasts The durations of KHulfa-e-Rashdeen was the “Golden Era” of Muslims. and everbody knows the seniors of them were always designated Khalifa -tu-Muslameen every times. WE feel shame for this. I think its the like and dislike game and nothing else.

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  • Aamir Ali
    Nov 29, 2013 - 12:51PM

    Nawaz Sharrif again on mistake he already lessened on it…..
    Haroon Aslam was the right person according to seniority

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  • Theologist
    Nov 29, 2013 - 9:34PM

    He led SSG into operation at Peochar valley, a feat worth a combat course. He was the first one to step onto the land, and the last one to leave. No exaggeration or propaganda. A fact.

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  • A
    Nov 30, 2013 - 4:44AM

    @Common Pakistani: Ah so emotional my friend! You must live in a Cannt area somewhere riding in a BMW 7 series with 20 cars for your protocol. Talk about the sacrifice with the soldiers fighting in the tribal areas not their incompetent Generals who had Osama living 800 yards from PMA Kakool. The same PMA where just a few weeks before Osama’s encounter the great General Kiyani told us that the back of the terrorists was broken now.

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  • Pmahmud
    Nov 30, 2013 - 8:19AM

    This focus on seniority gives the impression that people want army as a labor union where seniority is everything, then PM really does not have any say. In any democratic system the PM is the boss. If you have any logical argument, the show by example and reasoning.

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  • Khalid
    Nov 30, 2013 - 9:32AM

    @adnan:
    There is a law in the Pakistan army which allows DISOBEDIENCE OF UNLAWFUL COMMAND. This gentleman very willingly obeyed the unlawful command of his superiors (Musharaf) who after taking over gave a slogan of ‘national interest first’. But that requires a high degree of moral courage to disobey an order which is unlawful, when there are chances of losing privileges and perks which are being showered on the officers more and more, the higher they go in rank. Military history witnessed those armies being victorious in face of odds whose officers and men had both physical and moral courage

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  • Raza
    Nov 30, 2013 - 10:29AM

    nawaz made a big big mistake. this all “peace talks” with talibans is worthless and if you look at the past Gen. Haroon was true commander to fight taliban.

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  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Nov 30, 2013 - 11:45AM

    The most senior and deserving for COAS’ post Lieutenant General Haroon Aslam has been the victimized of Nawaz Sharif’s nepotism and jobbery as most exactly Nawaz Sharif did when Nawaz Sharif appointed Musharraf as COAS by ignoring the the senior Lieutenant Generals……

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  • Ostrich head in sand
    Nov 30, 2013 - 11:57AM

    Its amazing to see the amount of hatred and ignorance prevalent in our society. Sure, there are some bad apples in the Army, but for the most part these are the guys who are ready to die for all those thankless “Paki’s” out there.

    Gen Haroon Aslam actually led from the front and defeated the Taliban in Swat. My question to all those “Paki’s” who hate the Military so much is, what have you done for Pakistan? I guess, I asked a dumb question-you guys are more busy not paying taxes especially the big land owners and industrialists, being Wadera’s, being Munafiq, blowing people up, drinking and dancing (being cool), etc.

    In the US, people give up their First Class Seats for Economy Class, when they see a “lowly” soldier step on to the airplane. A small gesture. Can you imagine this in Pakistan?

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