Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had formally appointed General Raheel Sharif as the 15th Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) on November 27, 2013. The armed forces’ PR wing ISPR recently quoted General Sharif saying that he doesn’t believe in extensions and plans on retiring on due date.
This will be a historic precedent for Pakistan, as previous army chiefs either pushed their way to maintain their dictatorships or accepted “extensions” granted by the country’s civilian leadership. General Raheel Sharif’s repute as the ‘odd’ one out (as in discipline and principles) rubbishes speculations rife among army critics who claimed he too was trying to usurp a long-term presence by allegedly forcing the Prime Minister to extend his mandate.
Below is a timeline with brief commentary about General Sharif’s service to Pakistan as COAS from his date of appointment to end of 2015. It will present an assessment highlighting his notable achievements and statements.
- General Raheel Sharif held his first Corps Commanders Conference (167th for Pakistan Army) at GHQ, Rawalpindi (Source).
- Then US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel met COAS and discussed matters related to the regional security situation, particularly Afghanistan (Source).
- COAS visited the Line of Control (LoC) and met troops stationed along the border. He took stock of the overall security situation (Source).
- The President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain conferred upon him the Nishan-e-Imtiaz (NI) along with Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Rashad Mehmood (Source).
- He announced support for the democratic government’s decision to hold peace talks with TTP (Source).
- COAS visited injured soldiers at the Armed Forces Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFIRM) in Rawalpindi. He praised the sacrifices, valour and determination of the soldiers who were injured in the ongoing war on terror (Source).
- He chaired the 168th Corps Commanders Conference (Source).
- After killings of pilgrims in Mastung, Balochistan, COAS visited Southern Command Headquarters in Quetta to receive a detailed briefing on the provincial law and order situation from then Southern Army Commander Lt Gen Nasser Khan Janjua. General Sharif called for the development of a joint security strategy for peace and the need to accelerate development projects in the restive province (Source).
- He praised the valor and bravery of Chaudhry Aslam Shaheed, slain SSP CID in Karachi (Source).
- He visited Tilla Ranges near Jhelum to witness a live field firing and battle inoculation maneuvers being conducted in near real environment by troops from 4 Corps Lahore and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) (Source).
- He met injured victims of the RA Bazaar bombing in Rawalpindi (Source).
- He visited Strategic Plans Division (SPD) Headquarters and commented that nuclear assets play a central role in the defence of Pakistan (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif visited Saudi Arabia to discuss defence and security cooperation with the kingdom (Source).
- He visited the Frontier Constabulary (FC) headquarters in KP and vowed that sacrifices rendered by FC troops would not go in vain (Source).
- He chaired the 169th Corps Commanders Conference (Source).
- COAS visited Kotri Ranges to witness exercises held by 5 Corps Karachi. He vowed that armed forces would defeat “all threats” to the country (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif chaired the 170th Corps Commanders Conference at GHQ (Source).
- He visited an Armoured Division in Gujranwala Garrison and said that Pakistan should prepare to face potential challenges (Source).
- The Pakistan Day Parade (March 23) was held after a gap of several years (Source).
- COAS went on a visit to the UAE upon invitation from the emirate’s leadership (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif visited Sonmiani Ranges near Karachi to review the Air Defence Firing Exercise and urged troops to be prepared “at all times” (Source).
- He chaired the 171st Corps Commanders Conference at GHQ (Source).
- ISPR issued a statement that Pakistan Army would “preserve its dignity” even during General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf’s trial (Source).
- COAS addressed the Youm-e-Shuhada (Martyrs Day) ceremony at GHQ and reiterated that Pakistan Army supports all efforts to eliminate terrorism and restore peace in the country (Source).
- He visited Saudi Arabia to witness joint Pak-Saudi military exercises “Abdullah’s Simitar” (Source).
- He visited Swat and inaugurated a postgraduate college and a paramedical institute at Saidu Sharif (Source).
- COAS visited ISI Headquarters in Islamabad and appreciated services rendered by the agency’s officers to strengthen the country’s security (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif visited the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah to pay homage to the nation’s founder (Source).
- He attended a ceremony in Sargodha that marked the re-equipment of 19 Squadron of PAF with ex-Royal Jordanian F-16 aircrafts. He also appreciated PAF’s counter terrorism efforts (Source).
- He visited Afghanistan for meetings with Afghan and NATO/ISAF commanders (Source).
- He visited field formations in South Waziristan and reviewed the operations going on in the agency (Source).
- COAS addressed trainees at the Command & General Staff College, Quetta and said that Pakistan Army had the unique distinction of fighting against both conventional and sub-conventional threats (Source).
- He chaired the 172nd Corps Commanders Conference (Source).
- COAS visited Tilla Ranges near Jhelum to witness the culmination of large scale maneuver exercises by formations of Central Command and PAF jets in a near real environment (Source).
- He fulfilled the wish of O-level record holder Rai Haris Manzoor who wanted to meet him. The COAS gifted him an iPad and allowed him to spend a day with Pakistan Army troops in the field (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif went to China on an official visit (Source).
- Operation Zarb-e-Azb was formally launched this month (Source).
- He visited Sri Lanka and also attended the Passing out Parade (PoP) of the country’s premier army training center for Officer Cadets, Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA), at Diyatalawa (Source).
- He visited the helicopter overhauling facility at Aviation Base Workshop built by local engineers in with Saint Petersburg Aviation Repair Company (SPARC). He called for increasing self-reliance and continuous skills development to meet high operational requirements (Source).
- He directed DG Rangers and Corps Commander Karachi to take stringent action against militants who had attacked Karachi Airport (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif visited troops in Miranshah, North Waziristan and said Pakistan Army would chase and hunt down terrorists across Pakistan (Source).
- He visited Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) at Kakul and laid the foundation of the 4th battalion (Source).
- He celebrated Eid with troops in North Waziristan (Source).
- He appointed Major General Bilal Akbar as DG Rangers Sindh (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif intervened for mediation between Imran Khan (PTI), Tahir Ul Qadri (PAT) and the government during the “dharna” in Islamabad (Source).
- He visited Australia on the special invitation of Australian Chief of Defence Force (Source).
- He chaired the 173rd Corps Commanders Conference (Source).
- At the end of the month, he chaired another (174th) Corps Commanders Conference (Source).
- PM Sharif appointed Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar as DG ISI on the recommendation of COAS General Raheel Sharif (Source).
- COAS visited 2 Corps Headquarters, Multan to witness the field training of an Armoured formation in the ambit of Corps Operation, comprising elements of Armour Artillery, Infantry, Air Defence and Light Commando Battalion. He underlined the need for use of modern technology to enhance the training standards with better economy of resources (Source).
- He attended the annual commanding officers conference held at the Northern Light Infantry (NLI) Regimental Centre in Bunji, Gilgit. He appreciated troops for their combat readiness (Source).
- He visited the Junior Leaders Academy Shinkiari in Mansehra, KP to witness the closing ceremony of Physical Agility and Combat Efficiency System (PACES) Championship. He said the military was fully capable of dealing with all kinds of challenges (Source).
- He met then Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt and vowed that Pak Army-PAF would jointly fight terrorists (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif addressed the PoP at PMA Kakul and said that just resolution of Kashmir issue is necessary for lasting peace in the region (Source).
- He announced a Youth Package for FATA and announced that 14,000 youngsters would be recruited into Pak Army from FATA during the next 5 years (Source).
- He spent Eid with troops in North Waziristan (Source).
- He met his Indonesian counterpart General Gatot Nurmantyo during his official trip to Jakarta . He also visited the Indonesia Peace and Security Centre where he held a detailed interaction with participants on counter-terrorism, and highlighted achievements of Pakistan in the ongoing fight against terrorism (Source).
- He chaired the 175th Corps Commanders Conference and said that conclusion of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between Kabul and Washington was a “good move” for durable peace (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif visited Afghanistan and offered military and logistic support to the war-torn country (Source).
- He inaugurated the Central Trade Corridor in South Waziristan linked to Afghanistan (Source).
- He visited the US and was conferred with the Legion of Merit (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif signed death warrants for 6 hardcore terrorists (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif addressed a PoP of Baloch recruits in Quetta and said that Balochistan would soon become a land of peace (Source).
- He spearheaded efforts to unite the nation on developing a comprehensive National Action Plan against terrorism and extremism.
- He visited 11 Corps Headquarters, Peshawar and said that early return of Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) was the Pakistan Army’s top priority (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif met families of Army Public School (APS) Peshawar martyrs (Source).
- He met UK PM David Cameron in London (Source).
- He announced provision of 4000 AK-47 rifles from Frontier Constabulary (FC) troops (Source).
- He oversaw the establishment of military courts after passing of the 21st Constitutional Amendment.
- General Raheel Sharif visited Afghanistan along with DG ISI for peace talks (Source).
- He visited Quetta to attend a provincial Apex Committee constituted by PM Sharif (Source).
- He met Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu and discussed matters related to regional and bilateral security (Source).
- He said that any provocation by India would get a befitting response during his visit to Sialkot Garrison (Source).
- He promised the revival of Pakistan Hockey after attending the final of the first Chief of Army Staff Hockey Cup in Rawalpindi (Source).
- He chaired the 176th Corps Commanders Conference (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif visited 11 Corps Headquarters, Peshawar and vowed to continue operations until all terrorists are killed (Source).
- He visited PMA Kakul and urged cadets to polish their skills for better performance (Source).
- He visited North Waziristan with then PAF chief ACM Tahir Rafique Butt. Both vowed to eliminate terrorism from Pakistan (Source).
- Addressing an Army Medical Corps (AMC) seminar in Lahore, he said that future generations of Pakistan would live in a terrorism-free environment (Source).
- He chaired the 177th Corps Commanders Conference (Source).
- The World Islamic Forum (WIF) conferred the ‘Istanbul Special Islamic Award’ upon General Raheel Sharif for his counter terrorism efforts (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif warned foreign agencies from instigating unrest and terrorism in Balochistan (Source).
- He vowed to crush all mafias in Karachi after getting a brief by 5 Corps Commander Karachi and DG Rangers (Source).
- He visited frontline troops in Khyber Agency and said the entire nation stood with them in the fight against terrorism (Source).
- He chaired the 178th Corps Commanders Conference and said the Yemen war would have ‘implications’ for the region (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif and PM Sharif visited Afghanistan for peace talks (Source).
- He cancelled his scheduled visit to Sri Lanka after the Safoora bus tragedy (Source).
- He attended the funeral of Captain Qasim who embraced martyrdom while fighting valiantly against terrorists in Tirah valley of Khyber Agency (Source).
- He said that Afghanistan’s enemy was Pakistan’s enemy (Source).
- He chaired the 179th Corps Commanders Conference in which Generals had blamed Indian intelligence agency RAW for terrorism in Pakistan (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif said that Kashmir was an unfinished agenda of partition (Source).
- He visited Russia to hold defence talks (Source).
- He visited Sri Lanka to discuss defence cooperation (Source).
- He visited troops in Khyber Agency (Source).
- He assured Chinese authorities of security for the China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif directed the army to assist in flood-relief operations (Source).
- He visited Italy and met the country’s Foreign Minister, among other leaders (Source).
- He offered Eid prayers with soldiers in Waziristan (Source).
- He commended the successful completion of the initial phase of Shawal operation (Source).
- He visited South Africa on an official visit (Source).
- He visited Balochistan and vowed that Gwadar and CPEC projects would be built ‘at all costs’ (Source).
- He offered funeral prayers for the 10 martyrs of Gujranwala train accident (Source).
- He said that Operation Zarb-e-Azb would continue till its logical conclusion (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif visited Karachi to review operations in the metropolis (Source).
- He confirmed the death sentences for 7 hardcore terrorists (Source).
- He visited Shawal Valley to review progress in Operation Zarb-e-Azb (Source).
- He chaired the 180th Corps Commanders Conference (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif vowed to defend every inch of the motherland (Source).
- He paid a visit to injured of Badaber base attack along with Air Chief Sohail Aman (Source).
- He offered Eid prayers with troops in Khyber Agency (Source).
- He said that terrorists would not be allowed to return to Swat (Source).
- He met UK Home Secretary Theresa May and later delivered a lecture at the Royal United Services Institute in London (Source).
- He was awarded Turkish Legend of Merit during his visit to Turkey (Source).
- He said Pakistan Army would not allow even a shadow of Daesh (IS/ISIL/ISIS) in Pakistan (Source).
- He inspected joint Pak-Saudi exercise al-Shahab in Pabbi near Jhelum (Source).
- He visited the US for meetings with several leaders including Vice President Joseph Biden (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif visited Saudi Arabia on an official visit (Source).
- He signed death warrants of 4 terrorists (Source).
- He visited Brazil for official matters of mutual interest (Source).
- General Raheel Sharif chaired the 181st Corps Commanders Conference (Source).
- He ordered the immediate arrest of attackers who martyred Military Police (MP) officers in Karachi (Source).
- He said that Pak Army would not leave tribal agencies anytime soon until complete elimination of terrorist hideouts (Source).