General Raheel Sharif officially assumes army command

Published: November 29, 2013
Outgoing army chief General Ashfaq Kayani (R) presents the change of command baton to newly-appointed army chief General Raheel Sharif (L) during the change of command ceremony in Rawalpindi on November 29, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

Outgoing army chief General Ashfaq Kayani (R) presents the change of command baton to newly-appointed army chief General Raheel Sharif (L) during the change of command ceremony in Rawalpindi on November 29, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

Outgoing army chief General Ashfaq Kayani (R) presents the change of command baton to newly-appointed army chief General Raheel Sharif (L) during the change of command ceremony in Rawalpindi on November 29, 2013. PHOTO: AFP Express News screengrab of General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani handing the baton to General Raheel Sharif. Express News screengrab of Kayani at the GHQ in Rawalpindi.

RAWALPINDI: General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani handed the baton to the new chief of army staff, General Raheel Sharif at the change of command ceremony at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on Friday, Express News.

Kayani expressed his confidence in General Sharif’s leadership, stating that he is “certain that the army will continue to play a role in the safety and betterment of the country under his [Gen Sharif’s] command.”

In his address at the GHQ, Kayani added that he will share in the happiness of the army when they succeed and in their sadness if they fail. “My heart will always be with you,” he added.

“Today we can all say with pride that the Pakistani army is prepared for all internal and external threats,” Kayani said.

“The biggest sacrifice is that of one’s life and the army has always been ready to lay down their lives for the country throughout history,” he said.

“There is no place in any part of the country where there is no tomb of our martyrs, but in the last decade there has been a rapid increase in the number of these tombs.”

He stated that he “got to see the situation of the country up close and can say with complete confidence that the citizens of Pakistan are capable and intelligent… and the future is bright.”

He told the audience of troops and dignitaries that he had “kept the interests of the army, the country and the nation above everything” in his command.

There is high security outside the GHQ and traffic has been blocked in routes leading to and from the headquarters. GT Road has also been closed off.

President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will not be attending the ceremony.

Kayani was given a guard of honour when he arrived. He also laid a floral wreath at the memorial for martyrs.

The new army chief

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the new Chief of Army Staff, Raheel Sharif, hails from a “martial stock” as his father also served as an army major, while his elder brother Major Shabbir Sharif was awarded the highest military award, Nishan-e-Haider, for his bravery in the 1971 war with India.

He has been the general officer commanding (GOC) of an infantry division and the Commandant of the PMA. As a lieutenant-general, he served as Corps Commander, XXXI Corps, for two years before taking over as inspector general, training and evaluation, overseeing the training of Pakistan Army.

Gen Kayani

General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had his last day in service on November 28, 2013. After six years at the helm of the Pakistan Army office, he leaves behind an indelible legacy.

The 14th commander of the Pakistan Army will now hang up his boots that have racked up a mileage of no less than 42 years, two months and 30 days – or 15,432 days to be precise.

Having begun as a cadet in PMA Kakul on 14 November, 1969, the boy from the obscure village of Mangot, Tehsil Gujar Khan, District Rawalpindi, Kayani will retire after having collected a lot of brass and making it to the very top office in General Headquarters, commanding the sixth largest fighting force on Earth for six action-packed years – the longest such tenure in Pakistan without having added ‘President’ to his title.

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Reader Comments (22)

  • Nov 29, 2013 - 11:36AM

    Kayani, RESPECTRecommend

  • Ahmad
    Nov 29, 2013 - 11:47AM

    Welcome aboard General Raheel. God Bless Pak Army .


  • A Abid S
    Nov 29, 2013 - 12:16PM

    Could they not say 42 years and 3 months….


  • Asad
    Nov 29, 2013 - 12:21PM

    What’s with the picture quality?


  • A Abid S
    Nov 29, 2013 - 12:39PM

    Could you not just say 42 years and three months…..???


  • Magneto
    Nov 29, 2013 - 12:43PM

    @Asad High resolution PTV Cameras you know!!


  • Nikki
    Nov 29, 2013 - 12:51PM

    The new COAS is expected to have balanced relations with civil regime and also will be playing his historical role in bringing normal relations with India.
    It is a perception that army has never supported the civil governments policies toward India.
    Please get to resolve all issues.


    Nov 29, 2013 - 2:44PM

    Welcome Sir, please save Pakistan


  • Asad
    Nov 29, 2013 - 3:07PM

    Check now, its heard :)


  • A-No.1
    Nov 29, 2013 - 3:22PM

    No where in the world is this kind of ceremony held with so much pomp and show. A quiet handover in the office of the COAS would have saved a great deal of money which could have benn used for the benefit of the families of shaheed soldiers.


  • Dhaka
    Nov 29, 2013 - 3:37PM

    Next step to officially assume president post, after toppling NS. What to expect from a cheap unstable unprofessional country.


  • sunny aneel
    Nov 29, 2013 - 4:50PM

    @Dhaka:Look who spoke from Dhaka. And what Bangladesh is???????


  • Abu Ghufran
    Nov 29, 2013 - 4:58PM

    what a shame, on same page we have drone attack news on a city and our hero is taking guard of honor.

    Shame on you kayani!


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Nov 29, 2013 - 6:32PM

    The term ” Martial Stock” is very discriminatory and racist. Army should avoid using it.


  • H
    Nov 29, 2013 - 6:36PM

    First of all why the ceremony?
    Secondly, what is the talk about internal and external security, I seriously cant see or any security anywhere.

    Well Kayani should be saluted for not going the pathetic martial law route.


  • Nov 29, 2013 - 6:44PM

    Is the new chief a Butt? People have been asking this, and I don’t have an answer.


  • Humza
    Nov 29, 2013 - 7:05PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: The expression martial stock and martial races comes from the British colonialists who ruled South Asia. Those native races who were considered brave and physically stronger were given preference in the British native army because they could be trusted in battle to fight. Punjabis, Pashtuns,and Baluch are the native Pakistani races considered martial but obviously this excludes certain segments of Pakistani society. Getting back on track, I hope General Sharif is as professional as Kayani and stays out of politics and instead focuses on the military’s role.


  • Ali Tanoli
    Nov 29, 2013 - 7:32PM

    well come to the hardest job of the world ….


  • Dq
    Nov 29, 2013 - 8:11PM

    A terrible day for the people of Rawalpindi…had to fight a horrible traffic mess throughout the city while making way through small steets or waiting at army naakaas as all the major arteries in the city were blocked…one of the army soldiers with big mustashe at such a naakaa said, “Sir, hamara order nahi hai, cheif ka order hai…”


  • rkfrom ny
    Nov 29, 2013 - 9:37PM

    ..he was welcomed by two US drone strikes…!!


  • rkfrom ny
    Nov 29, 2013 - 9:37PM

    @Ali Tanoli:
    to the most humiliating mean..??


  • Humayun
    Nov 30, 2013 - 3:34AM

    legacy – blocked roads …living in secured silos


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