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Gen Raheel kicks off farewell meetings

LAHORE, NOV 21: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif addressing jawans

RAWALPINDI, NOV 21, (DNA) – Army Chief Gen Raheel has kicked off his farewell visits from today with a huge gathering of soldiers of army and Rangers at Lahore Garrison.

The COAS, who is due to retire later this month, had said on 26th January this year that he will retire on due date ending all speculations to rest about the extension in his tenure.

“I don’t believe in extension and will retire on the due date,” the army spokesman quoted him as saying in a statement.

Addressing the troops, Gen Raheel said accomplishment of peace and stability is no ordinary task and the sacrifices and joint national resolve has helped us in offsetting all odds against country.

The army chief began his visits on Monday at the Lahore Garrison where he addressed and thanked a huge gathering of soldiers of Pakistan Army and Rangers.

Addressing the soldiers, Gen Raheel said accomplishment of peace and stability was “no ordinary task”.

“Our sacrifices and joint national resolve helped us in off-setting all odds against [the] country.”

The army spokesman had in January  in Gen Sharif’s tenure as Chief of Army Staff, quoting the army chief as saying he will “retire on the due date” in November this year.

Speculation had been rife regarding an extension in the COAS’ term after former military ruler Musharraf called for an extension in his tenure, warning against a change in the military leadership.

The post of Army chief is inarguably the most powerful in Pakistan. On Nov 27, 2013, the government approved Sharif’s appointment for the post, a position that he took over from Ashfaq Parvez Kayani who stepped down on Nov 29, 2013.

Gen Sharif is expected to pass on the baton of command of the army to the next army chief at a ceremony by the end of this month.



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