Raheel Sharif takes over Pakistan Army command

Islamabad, Nov 29: General Raheel Sharif formally assumed the command of the Pakistan Army on Friday, two days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif picked him to lead it.

Gen. Sharif succeeds Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who headed the army for six years, reports Xinhua.

Gen. Kayani handed over the command to the new chief at a largely-attended ceremony at the army's hockey ground at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.

The outgoing army chief handed the "Change of Command baton" over to Gen. Raheel Sharif, who became the country's 15th army chief.

Gen Raheel Sharif succeeded Gen Ashfaq Kayani to become the 15th army chief

Army generals, retired army officers, ministers, lawmakers, diplomats and civil servants attended the ceremony held under tight security. The main route near the army's headquarters was closed to public and traffic.

Gen. Kayani presided over his last corps commanders' conference Thursday, which was a symbolic meeting to bid farewell to his senior commanders, military sources said.

Gen. Kayani told the commanders that it was an honour for him to lead "world's greatest army" for six years. "It makes me (feel) proud," he said, and thanked the commanders for supporting him in discharge of duties.

Gen. Rashad Mahmood, who was appointed the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, assumed office Thursday in a ceremony held at Joint Staff Headquarters, a military statement said.

Earlier, Lt. Gen. Haroon Aslam sent his resignation to the defence ministry. A senior general of the army, he resigned after he was superseded by Gen. Raheel Sharif as the army chief.


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