Sharif ended weeks of speculation to name Let General Sharif as the army chief. Lt Gen Rashad Masood was named the new Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee. According to a PTI report, Sharif had met Mahmood and Inspector General Training and Evaluation Lt Gen Sharif in the capital before approving their promotion.
"On the advice of the Prime Minister and in pursuant to clause 3 of article of constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the President and the supreme commander of the armed forces is pleased to approve the promotion and posting of the two generals, with effect from November 28," a top Pakistani official told PTI.
Both the generals superceded Lt Gen Haroon Aslam, the current Chief of Logistics Staff and the seniormost general after the departing army chief, Kayani.
This is the fourth time that Nawaz Sharif has chosen an army chief
Kayani, 61, took over from Pervez Musharraf and was at the helm of the army for six years. His successor, Gen Sharif comes from a military background and is the brother of Shabbir Sharif, the recipient of Nishan-e-Haider medal for valour, who was killed during the 1971 war with India. Gen Sharif has close connections with former army chiefs and top brass and also Lahore's political elite He had served as the General Officer Commanding, Lahore, as a Major General.
Gen Sharif is known for his contribution in developing doctrines like COIN/CT, where the infantry-training manual has been rewritten under his supervision to direct the largest fighting arm of the army from India-centred activities to a counterinsurgency nature of operation.
Gen Sharif's appointment comes ahead of the pulling out of the international forces from the war-ravaged Afghanistan next door and the negotiation between the Pakistani Taliban and the Nawaz Sharif government.
Tricky situation for Nawaz Sharif?
This is the fourth time that Sharif has chosen an army chief. He picked up Abdul Waheed Kakar as the army chief in 1993 but the latter soon betrayed him and played a key role in Sharif's resignation. Kakar had superseded at least four senior generals.In 1998, he picked Pervez Musharraf to head the army and he too had superseded at least two generals. Musharraf first hatched the Kargil misadventure plot derailing Sharif's India-Pakistan peace dialogue in 1999 and then engineered a coup against him the same year. Sharif selected Ziauddin Butt in October 1999 but he could not take over as the army chief because if the coup.
(With PTI inputs)