Despite all rumors; General Raheel Sharif Retirement Date finally approached and new general announced. #ThankYouRaheelSharif trending at social media. Pakistanis had build up a lot of expectations from the COAS. Raheel Sharif family belongs to army. His brother Major Rana Shabbir Sharif rewarded Nishan-e-Haider, another brother Captain Mumtaz Sharif rewarded Sitara-e-Basalat. From raheel sharif ‘s mother side his mamu Major Raja Aziz Bhatti too Nishan-e-Haider holder. Raheel sharif education background is from Govt college followed by 54th long course (L/C) of Pakistan Military Academy. He was appointed by Gen Musharraf as Military secretary and later command of 11th infantry division. He was elevated over two generals as appointed by Nawaz Sharif may be because of his being Non-Political. Although General Raheel Sharif remain bit tough for govt in some cases, he still proved himself very professional and preferred to work side by side civilian govt in a conventional way. Lets have some critical review on his services from a layman point of view
Most Popular General Or active ISPR
He is perhaps one of the most popular General both at home and internationally. At home not only popular but also trusted by general public who believe him like Messiah who can handle almost all issues. His popularity and public trust shadowed even the elected prime minister of Pakistan. Raheel Sharif remain in news all the time. It is difficult to say if it was due to his being upfront; firm speeches especially his powerful style of threatening India Or efforts of ISPR who briefed every single move of COAS and gave him limelight. He nevertheless leaded from front like meeting soldiers at North Waziristan, loc vists, meet up with balochi and listening their issues, talks with khan sb etc. But no one can deny that ISPR also performed well under his commands or of bajwa sb. on the other hand when army is in state of war, it remain a tradition to keep army moral high by creating support and so may be ISPR was just following the trend Looks like ISPR will follow the same trend but will it result same popularity for new chief; wait and watch.
Operation Zarb-e-Azb And National Action Plan
One of most appreciated decision under Raheel Sharif was to conduct operation in north waziristan. Operation Zarb-e-Azab launched aimed to locate, destroy, clear and abolish the facilitators or links to assure prolong safety. A national action plan was also devised for civilian govt for better and long lasting peace. Some important points of this operations are
- Attack on Army Public School, Wahga Border, Civil hospital Quetta, Police Training center are few with heavy casualties while many other attacks also occurred during this operation forcing to assume people if it is successful or not. Army believe most of these attacks were rather infiltration of india through Afghan taliban. Gen Raheel made several visits to Afghanistan and USA to sort out this issue and demanded afghan govt for a firm role. His demand from USA to stop drone as well as to take actions against Afghan Taliban was a firm stance in the presence of civilian PM.
- Since USA demanded pakistan to abolish some other jihadi groups and this operation was assumed a step towards it. Gen Raheel is blamed to overlook the demand. USA itself distinguished different jihadis in past and now; so demand of selective strike makes no sense.
- National Action Plan never followed by civilian govt the way it must have been. Although it may not be the duty of COAS yet since it comes under national security so a delayed and overlooked approach by govt was perhaps not handled aggressively as expected from COAS.
Peace and order in karachi is a great achievement by the Pakistani Rangers. Many networks and political leaders were unveiled and measured actions were taken on one hand but there is still question of how permanent these actions are. Are big fishes trapped properly and facilitators abolished permanently. Time will tell.
Has COAS influenced Diplomacy Or circumcised Pakistan
Perhaps army influence or plays vital role in forming diplomatic policies of any country. Pakistan was never good in diplomatic relations but this failure and weakness remain more prominent in this reign of PMLN. Internationally army influence was suspected and some alleged COAS for this. Some important points are
- Govt failed to convince world about the involvement of RAW or Indian agencies in Baluchistan although Moodi himself openly mentioned it in his speeches. kulbhushan was captured but not mentioned even in UNO. If COAS has influenced foreign policy, then this action is even more weird.
- “Pakistan is circumcised” as stated by most foreign analyst. But as matter of fact it looks like nothing but interest of corporate sector in India. On other hand USA attempt to blame Pakistan after it lost war in Afghanistan.
- USA’s demand to strike some particular groups may be overlooked and this could be another reason.
- China’s cpec a good reason for USA and India to align and play power game against Pakistan. so this isolation is a temporary set back until cpec is fully established .
- Some alleged COAS to restrict PM especially in diplomatic relation with india. Indian agents were also captured from PM factory. There may be some deal between establishment and govt but looks like this rumor was true. It is important to note that mian sb also have personal business interest in India which does not suit to an in office prime minister when india is involved in creating unrest in Pakistan.
First Time Military Exercises with Russia
This was a good step. And a success at diplomatic level. General Raheel Sharif visited Russia and interestingly timing of these exercises were very appropriate. Gawadar Port itself is an attraction for the neighbor hood countries. Iran, Russia both can benefit from it and so will Pakistan.
Although Providing security is definitely a duty on army when it comes to a foreign heavy investment. But General Raheel Sharif took great interest in this project. A new brigade level unit formation as well as by remaining non political during Dharna is a great support.
Other Noteworthy Actions
- His firm and stand out opinion at international and national agendas
- Diplomatic talks with Imran khan and supporting civilian govt.
- Formation of Military courts and first time execution of terrorists since they were captured. Although there is an allegation of killing some innocents
- Helped to develop and thrive defense industry resulting in saving of billions dollars of forex.
- Opened corruption cases in army.
- Gen Raheel has not conducted operation in Punjab.
- On time retirement first time in the last 20 years
- Blamed to save Musharaf and not playing role in the corruption case of Nawaz sharif
Pakistan has been in state of war since decades. Pakistan has several security threats unlike India. For a peaceful and economically stable Pakistan, many other measures are required then an operation. A single person or institute cant bring the prolong change and stability. General Raheel Sharif has played his role so does everyone else need to. There is a serious need to follow national action plan, register madrasas and bring Fata reform. To Reconcile relationship and brotherhood with Afghanistan and restrict CIA and RAW involvement. Pakistan also need to define clear India and Kashmir policy. Proper division of infrastructure and facilities among provinces. That and much more is required and for that civilian govt has to play the vital role. In end Thanks Raheel Sharif, public loved you and so it hope that if not all facilitators are abolished even then you must be leaving some strategy to cope them. Thanks for reading. What are your opinion on this layman critical talk. Leave your comments below.