ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday said he will continue seeking advice from outgoing Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, whom he called ‘one of the finest military leaders of his generation’.
Addressing a farewell reception hosted by him for the general, the prime minister said he always relied on the strategic advice of the army chief. “I will continue to seek advice of General Raheel Sharif in the future as well,” he said.
General Raheel Sharif will step down on November 28. He has been highly praised and applauded with his continuous efforts against terrorism.
The military high command has put forward the names of four main contenders for the post of army chief after the retirement of General Raheel.
The defence ministry has sent a summary to the prime minister for appointment of new army chief and Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee.
The outgoing CJCSC, General Rashad Mahmood, who paid a farewell call on PM Nawaz Sharif earlier, will also retire from his services with General Raheel.
The summery sent to the Primer carries names of four senior lieutenant generals – Zubair Hayat, Chief of General Staff, Ishfaq Nadeem, Commander-II Corps Multan, Javaid Iqbal Ramday, Commander -XXXI Corps Bahawalpur and Qamar Javed Bajwa, Inspector General Training and Evaluation.
Prime Minister Sharif said that under General Raheel Sharif, Pakistan’s armed forces confronted not only external threats but also the menace of terrorism. “We successfully established the writ of the state, and reclaimed every inch of territory under our sovereign control,” he said.
He said Pakistan armed forces can surely take pride in the flawless execution of Operation Zarb-e Azb, which was recognised as the most comprehensive robust and successful and anti-terrorism operation anywhere in the world.
“It has made the entire world aware of our unflinching resolve and commitment to root out terrorism,” he added.
Nawaz Sharif said: “We have worked together in addressing a number of security challenges, and today, Pakistan is much safer and stronger than 2013.” He thanked the army chief for his untiring efforts and commitment.
The army chief, on the occasion, thanked the prime minister for extending full support and appreciation.
Federal ministers, political leaders, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Naval Chief Admiral Zakaullah, and other senior civil and military officers attended the ceremony.
Earlier, Premier Nawaz Sharif held a one-on-one meeting with the army chief. Reports said they discussed the appointment of the new army chief.
The reception was attended by all four senior lieutenant generals who are being considered for the top military jobs.