After a six-year stint as army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Thursday bid adieu to the military amid a flood of tributes from its top brass for his outstanding services.
He will formally hand over the charge of army chief and the baton of command to the recently promoted General Raheel Sharif today (Friday).
Kayani’s farewell coincided with the formal assumption of charge of newly appointed Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Rashad Mahmood.
Ahead of his retirement, Gen Kayani presided over his last meeting of Corps Commanders at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.
Apart from senior commanders, Chief of Army Staff-designate General Raheel Sharif also attended the 166th Corps Commanders’ Conference.
In his remarks, Gen Kayani said the army was ready and capable of facing all internal and external challenges. He thanked all the corps commanders and principal staff officers for extending their wholehearted professional support during his tenure as chief of the army staff. He expressed the hope that the new army chief would further strengthen the capabilities of the army in dealing with contemporary challenges.
The COAS congratulated General Rashad Mahmood and General Raheel Sharif on their promotion and selection. The corps commanders welcomed the new and crucial appointments as well.
Gen Kayani also commended Lieutenant General Haroon Aslam for his services to Pakistan Army.
General Mahmood takes charge
According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), a simple but impressive ceremony was held at the Joint Staff Headquarters to formally welcome the newly inducted CJCSC. On his arrival at the Joint Staff Headquarters, Lt General Rashad Mahmood was received by the Joint Staff Director-General Lt-Gen Muhammad Asif.
A smartly turned-out contingent of the three services presented the guard of honour to the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, who reviewed the parade.
Later, directors-general of the Joint Staff Headquarters were introduced to the new CJCSC.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2013.