Islamabad, Nov 23: The United States sees outgoing Pakistan Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif as a valued and respected partner in the war against terrorism, a US official said on Tuesday.
Asked to comment on media reports that the general was stepping down as the army chief, a US State Department spokesperson said that any transition in the Pakistan Army was an internal matter of the country and it was only appropriate that any statement regarding this change should come from its government.
"We have seen the reports about the chief of army staff transition. This is an internal Pakistani matter, and I would direct you to the government of Pakistan for any further information," Dawn quoted the spokesperson as saying.
The department also shared a statement issued by the US embassy in Islamabad, saying: "We have seen the statements from ISPR announcing that Gen Raheel Sharif is stepping down as Chief of Army Staff at the end of his three-year term."
The statement noted that Gen Sharif was "a valued and respected partner in the regional fight against terrorism throughout his years as army chief". "We congratulate him and his family and wish them well," it added.
Gen Sharif held two meetings with US Secretary of State John Kerry during his visits to Washington in 2014 and 2015.