Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif has turned 59 today (Tuesday). General Raheel was born on June 16, 1956 in Quetta to a Rajput family of prominent military background which has its roots in the town of Kunjah, Gujrat in Punjab.
His father was Major Muhammad Sharif. His eldest brother Major Shabbir Sharif, was declared as the martyr of Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 by Pakistan and received Nishan-e-Haider posthumously. He is the nephew of Major Raja Aziz Bhatti, another Nishan-e-Haider recipient, who was declared as the martyr of Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 by Pakistan.
He received his formal education from the Government College in Lahore. .
After graduation in 1976, he was commissioned into the 6th Battalion of the Frontier Force Regiment, where his elder brother had also served.
One of most honourable position always given to the finest officer in Pak-Army, Sharif served as an adjutant to the Pakistan Military Academy and joined an infantry brigade in Gilgit. As a brigadier, he commanded two infantry brigades.
He has been known to be ‘soldier to the core’ as he is a battle hardened general, who has commanded several infantry units along the Line Of Control in Kashmir.
In time, he was assigned command of the 11th Infantry Division in Lahore by General Pervez Musharraf. Sharif was also the General Commanding Officer of an infantry division and Commandant of the Pakistan Military Academy. Following his promotion to Lieutenant General, Sharif served as a corps commander for two years and then took over as Inspector General for Training and Evaluation. Having a great role as the IG Training and Evaluation at GHQ, he enhanced the military colleges in the country and provided unconventional warfare training to the troops.
He also deals with the evaluation of military doctrines and war strategies with a view to shaping future training programs. He changed the army’s focus more towards carrying out counter-insurgency operations against militants. On 27 November 2013, General Sharif was appointed as the 15th Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
In 2013, General Sharif was conferred with Nishan-e-Imtiaz (military). General Raheel has encountered significant difficulties and challenges as he assumed his new role as army chief. A deadly attack at the Karachi International Airport last year forced the COAS to launch a decisive Operation Zarb e Azb against all militant outfits in Pakistan. In one year, more than 2,700 militants have been killed, and more than 800 hideouts have been destroyed. Known to be apolitical person, General Raheel Sharif is a straight-talking general. The nation is proud of General Raheel and every other soldier of Pakistan Army.