Home Features Man of the Year: Gen. Raheel Sharif

Man of the Year: Gen. Raheel Sharif

by Khaled Ahmed
34 comments
Photo illustration by Minhaj Ahmed Rafi

Photo illustration by Minhaj Ahmed Rafi

Gen. Raheel Sharif is changing Pakistan forever.

From under-trial Pervez Musharraf’s hospitalization at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology on Jan. 2 to the attempt on news anchor Hamid Mir’s life on April 19 to the launch of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in mid-June to the attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School on Dec. 16, the year past has been a period of extraordinary adjustments within Pakistan’s much disturbed civil-military equation.

The year began badly enough with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif putting off his handpicked new Army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, by pursuing the high-treason trial against former Army chief and president Musharraf. The prime minister also showed “excessive enthusiasm” for closer relations with India, attending the investiture of Narendra Modi as India’s prime minister even as the Indian Army was killing civilians with mortar fire across the Line of Control in Kashmir.

In June, barely a week after the Karachi Airport attack, General Sharif did something no one could expect: he changed the security paradigm under which the Army had so far compelled Pakistan to live. Instead of supporting the government’s “peace” talks with the Pakistani Taliban, he decided to attack the safe havens of the Pakistani Taliban and their local and foreign affiliates. Operation Zarb-e-Azb took the war to North Waziristan, where elements “friendly” to Pakistan trained with those not so friendly to it.

Since the country’s foreign and domestic security policies are run by the Army, the Foreign Office, firmly tethered to GHQ, had a hard time detaching its thinking from General Sharif’s predecessor, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani. North Waziristan marked a clear departure: it deviated from the received wisdom that any assault on the Taliban in the north would trigger a backlash in the south, where cities were already vulnerable to suicide-bombings and targeted assassinations. It also shook the kaleidoscope of regional and global politics out of pattern: the operation pleased Afghanistan and India, who feared cross-border proxy attacks, and the Western alliance led by the United States, always asking Pakistan to “do more,” in other words, eliminate the Pakistani Taliban and their Afghan counterparts attacking U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.

Ad Hoc Adjustments

There is little doubt that the June change was not properly digested by the Pakistani insiders set in their thinking that the Army was soft on the Taliban, and tough on the U.S. for “encouraging India to do mischief inside Pakistan.” General Kayani had been hounding American diplomats on roads and hunting Blackwater and CIA agents snooping on organizations the world had declared terrorists. One big miscalculation based on this belated grasp of paradigm shift was the “regime change through agitation” activated by two parties counting on the Army chief to be the arbiter who would ask Prime Minister Sharif to pack up. The antigovernment protests by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek kicked off in August and besieged Islamabad, but failed to get General Sharif to bite.

Can one say that the civil-military equation saved Nawaz Sharif from being toppled? Given that the Khan-Qadri duo and their campaign planners failed to incline General Sharif to act against a prime minister he didn’t quite get along with, one has to assume that the defense paradigm shift was too radical and too restricted to a group of officers close to the new Army chief to be properly understood. In hindsight, one can understand why General Sharif plumped for Prime Minister Sharif staying in power and avoided supporting Khan, whose stance was “blamelessly” pro-Taliban and anti-America as it was absorbed from the Army in the first place. General Sharif wanted to reverse the policy and, for once, “do more.”

Prime Minister Sharif wholeheartedly backed the policy reset on the western border. But a part of the Foreign Office led by Sartaj Aziz, the prime minister’s advisor, had to do a double take in November to overcome their laggard grasp of what was happening. Even after the resumption of U.S. drone strikes on Haqqani network targets in mid-October, most commentators in Washington simply refused to believe Zarb-e-Azb would get anywhere while the displacement of nearly 2 million civilians from North Waziristan made it too brittle to last.

Zarb-e-Zonked

By November, the world had woken up to Operation Zarb-e-Azb, conducted by nearly 30,000 troops who had killed almost 1,200 terrorists. U.S. drones struck in lockstep, even as Islamabad condemned them as a violation of its “sovereignty.” Other factors also came into the reckoning, such as “The Xinjiangistan Connection,” noted in July by Foreign Policy, which said “the security needs of China probably proved more important than the U.S. Congress in Islamabad’s calculations.” This being a reference to the ETIM (East Turkestan Islamic Movement) terrorists from China’s western province training in North Waziristan.

There was a quick revision of stance in Washington. General Sharif’s tough statements about how he would spare no one doing terrorism inside Pakistan—whether “friendly” or “unfriendly”—were allowed to sink in despite resistance developed to Pakistan’s “doublespeak” under General Kayani. The change in Washington was probably just as sudden as in the Foreign Office in Islamabad.

In October, the Pentagon’s report to the U.S. Congress, “Progress toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan,” had indicted Pakistan as an agent of proxy wars: “Afghan- and Indian-focused militants continue to operate from Pakistani territory to the detriment of Afghan and regional stability. Pakistan uses these proxy forces to hedge against the loss of influence in Afghanistan and to counter India’s superior military. These relationships run counter to Pakistan’s public commitment to support Afghan-led reconciliation. Such groups continue to act as the primary irritant in Afghan-Pakistan bilateral relations.”

Before General Sharif took off for Washington in November on an unexpectedly successful and long visit, he received the new Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, at GHQ on Nov. 14. Ghani, who in 1986 had done fieldwork on Pakistani madrassahs on a Fulbright grant, was unusually effusive after his interactions in Rawalpindi and Islamabad: “We will not permit the past to destroy the future,” he said. “We have overcome obstacles of 13 years in three days … The relationship between the two countries will be a replication of the equation between France and Germany.”

Around the same time, surprising everyone, prime ministerial advisor Aziz told the BBC on Nov. 17 that Pakistan would not act against terrorists not targeting Pakistan. “Why should America’s enemies unnecessarily become our enemies,” he said. “When the United States attacked Afghanistan, all those who were trained and armed were pushed toward us. Some of them were dangerous for us and some are not. Why must we make enemies out of them all?” This contradicted the earlier, repeatedly asserted pledge that Pakistan would not allow its soil to be used for cross-border terrorism. The Foreign Office scurried to clarify that Aziz was talking of the past and had been taken out of context, a rescue effort that made even less sense. Was this some kind of response to the Pentagon report on Pakistan’s use of proxies?

Defogging the Myths

Prime Minister Sharif cooperated with another challenging foreign-policy initiative that Washington would take notice of. On Nov. 20, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoygu, signed a defense cooperation agreement in Islamabad aimed at “promoting international security; intensification of counterterrorism and arms control activities; strengthening collaboration in various military fields, including education, medicine, history, topography, hydrography and culture; and sharing experiences in peacekeeping operations.”

General Sharif landed in Washington amid reports that Robin Raphel, a presumably friendly-to-Pakistan U.S. diplomat, was under FBI investigation for suspected espionage—for Pakistan. What followed must have surprised many who had said their last goodbye to U.S.-Pakistan ties during the long tenure of General Kayani when relations nosedived, dragging the luckless Pakistan Peoples Party-led government of Asif Ali Zardari down to near collapse in 2011 after the discovery and killing of Osama bin Laden, Memogate, and Salala.

In the U.S., much enthusiasm was shown for General Sharif, the first Army chief of Pakistan to visit since 2010. He had become important after his visit to Kabul, where he had given his gruff word that he would stop cross-border incursions of the Taliban “no matter who did it.” He was followed by the new ISI chief, Lt. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar, whose fresh approach to terrorism in Pakistan must have reassured both the much-harassed Kabul government and a Pentagon worried about post-drawdown Afghanistan. To cap the week of reconciliation, President Barack Obama rang Prime Minister Sharif to take the latter into confidence about his visit to New Delhi to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations in January as chief guest.

The Americans gave General Sharif red carpet treatment. The military’s Inter-Services Public Relations wing announced that “the U.S. Legion of Merit Medal was conferred on the Chief of the Army Staff, Gen. Raheel Sharif, currently on an official visit to the U.S., for his brave leadership, sagacity, vision, efforts for peace and stability in the region.” He and his delegation were also “given a full guard of honor at the U.S. Defense headquarters. He met Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work, and Commander of the Marine Corps, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford.” He also met officials of the CIA, Secretary of State John Kerry, and was received at a number of forums where he clearly reiterated his position on the extirpation of all categories of terrorists in Pakistan to audiences formerly convinced that Pakistan was using terrorists as proxies and allowing safe havens to terrorist outfits doing cross-border mischief.

With Prime Minister Sharif in Peshawar, Dec. 17. ISPR/AFP

With Prime Minister Sharif in Peshawar, Dec. 17. ISPR/AFP

Joining Jihadist Hands

Hardly had General Sharif returned home when contrary signs began to manifest themselves. His visit had strengthened the elected government facing agitational challenge on the one hand, and being forced into coexistence with “legalized” jihadists on the other. In late November, Hafiz Saeed, the powerful leader of Jamat-ud-Dawah with a $10-million U.S. bounty on his head, called for jihad against India to “safeguard the right of Kashmiris to self-determination.” He hurled his usual threats at India before announcing that his organization would hold a “public meeting” at Lahore’s Minar-e-Pakistan on Dec. 4. Saeed made the statement as a big four-day rally of the Jamaat-e-Islami concluded at the same arena amid loud challenges to U.S. hegemony and such international organizations as the IMF. Saeed’s rally, which forced PTI’s Khan to reschedule his Lahore “shutdown,” drew almost 400,000 people.

More confusion ensued on Nov. 25. Defense Minister Asif held a press conference in Islamabad and expressed what he specifically called his “personal opinion” about “unreliable America” in a unipolar world. He said U.S. “policy has been disastrous for the region,” and counted the militant Islamic State organization as a creation of the U.S. as a sequel of this policy. He targeted the U.S. Department of Defense statement about Pakistan fielding proxy warriors and said, “This shows that despite our sacrifices the Americans still do not trust us completely. That is sad, but it should be clear that Pakistan’s national objectives are paramount for us.” A respected Urdu columnist extrapolated from his statement the next day, saying that I.S. was “created by America and Israel” to undermine and destroy the Muslim states of the region. Even as Asif spoke, however, a U.S. drone reportedly nearly killed Pakistan’s Enemy No. 1, Mullah Fazlullah, chief of the Pakistani Taliban, at some location close to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Whatever the confused repercussions from it, the change of tack on terrorism by General Sharif marked a departure from the thinking of his predecessor, General Kayani, who publicly admitted to backing the interventionist “strategic depth” doctrine in Afghanistan and explained his assessment of India as based not on its declared intent but its state of military preparedness. Kayani had also asserted at one stage that attacking terrorists in their safe havens in the tribal areas would be counterproductive because of the blowback expected in the shape of bombings from Peshawar to Karachi. At one point Imran Khan declared that his own pro-Taliban stance owed to Kayani’s blowback theory. But the retired Army chief countered this declaration by saying that Khan had “got me wrong.”

Whatever the perception, Zarb-e-Azb has inflicted significant damage on terrorists in the North Waziristan and Khyber agencies without the much-hyped downstream blowback. In fact, terror attacks were cut by half, and the Taliban franchise in the Punjab led by Asmat Muawiya had been forced to renounce “jihad” in Pakistan while the South Waziristan franchise suffered a split, led by Khalid Sajna, from Fazlullah.

Meanwhile, in India for backchannel diplomacy, Khurshid Kasuri, Pakistan’s foreign minister under Musharraf, told an audience in New Delhi on Nov. 21: “If there is a paradigm shift in India-Pakistan relations, and we become normal, friendly neighbors, I foresee no difficulty for us to accept India having as much access to Afghanistan as it wants.”

Archives of Antipathy

Civil-military relations should run smoothly in all circumstances because the fixed thinking of the Pakistan Army meshes with the formally expressed details of Pakistani nationalism: the Two Nation theory and the Pakistan Movement, the resolution of the Kashmir dispute with India in favor of Pakistan, etc. Less formally, however, it carries irreducibly India-centric content: India never accepted the existence of Pakistan and wants to destroy the Two Nation doctrine that undergirds Pakistan; it has unfairly annexed Kashmir and caused Pakistan to break up in 1971; and now, together with the U.S., wants to challenge Pakistan on its western border.

But problems arise when elected governments have to adjust to the changing global political trends affecting Pakistan’s economy. The lure of pragmatism is seen by the military as undermining the fixed idea of the state of Pakistan empowered by the pledge of war through the Quranic injunction of jihad. So far, no government forced to deal realistically rather than ideologically with neighboring India has been spared the wrath of GHQ. On occasion, when an Army chief wearing two caps has been forced to act realistically vis-à-vis India, he has been attacked from within the military by extremist elements perceiving him as a renegade.

As an effective carrier of nationalism, Urdu remains impervious to the demands of realism in foreign policy urged by traders and captains of industry who support Prime Minister Sharif’s rudely-halted program of “normalization” with India. English-language journalism, which carries daily analyses of the market (as opposed to its Urdu counterpart, which has yet to invent proper vocabulary to comment on the economy) and backs IMF- and WTO-ordered initiatives, has come under attack by a campaign of curtailing the “English-medium” stream of education in the country.

The military worldview expressed in such official publications as Hilal and the Pakistan Army Green Book is more darkly Hobbesian. Most laymen dismiss this as “normal” because the Army is supposed to think of fighting wars, not parlaying for peace.

The 2010 Pakistan Army Green Book has an officer discussing “information aggression” as part of India-backed psychological warfare. This campaign, he writes, “disorientates people by attacking Pakistan’s cultural identity and the founding principles of Pakistan, i.e., the Two Nation theory” in order to “weaken Pakistan’s internal cohesion” and to create a “lack of trust amongst the people” in the way Pakistan is governed and to create conflict between the “people and Armed Forces and brand [the] Armed Forces as rogue and warmongering.” To achieve results through this information assault, “India’s intelligence agencies have invested widely in print and television media to wage psychological war against Pakistan.”

Similarly, Hilal in 2012 carried an essay titled “Living an Indian-Influenced Life,” saying that “even though Pakistan was liberated from British slavery and Hindu-influenced living” Pakistanis have been unable to “win freedom from Indian cultural domination after 64 years.” It claims that Gandhi said India “has no need to occupy Pakistan; it can occupy it culturally.” It goes on to discuss how “Indian movies and television serials … familiarize Pakistanis with the ways and words of Indian prayers” and how Pakistanis find “themselves spontaneously uttering these same forbidden tunes.”

In The Army and Democracy: Military Politics in Pakistan, Aqil Shah quotes from the editorial of the Pakistan Army Green Book from 2000: “Gone are the days when the sole role of an Army was limited either to invade or beat back the invaders … Geopolitical and geostrategic regional compulsions of South Asia have made the revision and redefinition of Pakistan Army’s role a necessity.”

Switch or Sink

Pakistan has reached a point in its life where it has to innovate and modify its worldview and frontload its foreign policy with trade and economic preferences to survive. It has become a weak state—it stands somewhere at the top of the “failed state” index—because of the spread of terrorism and a sharp decline in its economic indicators. Urbanization amid a shrinking economy has tended to exacerbate public extremism, absorbed from the process of “Talibanization.” Its foreign policy must reinterpret its aggressive nationalism that tends to isolate it internationally. This isolation includes disagreement with China over the issue of Pakistan’s dealing unpragmatically with India.

Its elected governments have tried to deal with India by separating the Kashmir issue from “normalization” through free trade under the aegis of the World Trade Organization. Unfortunately, both the PMLN and the PPP have suffered disagreements with the military leadership while finalizing trade and visa deals with India. Since Pakistan’s nationalism remains India-centric, it is difficult to conduct a realistic foreign policy without offending against the articles of textbook indoctrination, especially as the political opposition “sides with the people” and challenges the elected government on the act of “getting cozy with enemy India” while “Kashmir burns.” It is another matter that, after overthrowing the “pro-India” government in Islamabad, Musharraf, too, followed the path of normalization with India. This has in the past created the most ironic situation of states preferring to talk to a military ruler as a more trustworthy Pakistani negotiator.

There are many ways an elected government will seek harmony with an Army not used to “institutional subordination” under the Constitution. It constantly “reinterprets” the national-security policy according to the changing leadership in GHQ. When General Kayani was in the driving seat, the mantra was that the “war against terror is not our war.” Under General Sharif it is different—to the relief and amusement of the outside world. As to the old security decisions taken by the military leadership, denial is the best ploy. The defense minister’s assertion—“America’s policy has been disastrous for the region”—absolves Pakistan of the responsibility of becoming a willing ally in America’s “Afghan war” against Russia followed by another “Afghan war” against Al Qaeda. A reinforced nationalism also routinely inclines the Pakistani police to interpret indigenous terrorism radiating from North Waziristan as acts of men “funded and trained” by India.

However, for the first time in many years, the Army under General Sharif has overturned the extremely isolationist and harmful policy of “seeking peace” with the Taliban and other Al Qaeda-linked terrorists in its safe havens, and has instead challenged them. Nawaz Sharif’s government has fallen in line behind him to reap the advantage of this bold policy. But the India policy is still ambivalent as Islamabad shuns too overt an advance to free trade that automatically leads to the offer of a transit route to Indian exports to Afghanistan and Central Asia. Prime Minister Sharif has conditionally mentioned transit trade in his address at the recent SAARC conference in Kathmandu while India’s Prime Minister Modi heated up the Kashmir border. A civil-military consensus in Pakistan on a new India policy, backed overwhelmingly by an international community scared of nuclear holocaust in South Asia, is the need of the hour.

From our Jan. 10, 2015, issue.

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34 comments

Syed Nadeem Shah December 31, 2014 - 8:23 pm

Finally a real army chief….Musharraf had appointed the previous weak kneed son of a subedar chief thinking he would be pliable and non threat….sadly the politicians rarely appoint an alpha general fearing their own early demise, here the role was reversed, Musharaf a dictator gave us a weak man, and Nawaz a civilian gave us Raheel.

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Ali Sikandar April 21, 2015 - 8:51 pm

Musharraf gave us a weak man, and Nawaz a civilian gave us Raheed. My simple question from you is, who gave us Musharraf a “dictator”?

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Shola December 31, 2014 - 10:41 pm

Person of the year should have been Mohammad Jibran Nasir or Malala Yousufzai.

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Nazim January 1, 2015 - 7:07 pm

The person of year is not given based on intenstions or goodwill. It is given solely on the impact (good or ill) a person has on the year. Although Malala and jibran Nasir have been indeed noble, their impact is not a fraction of what Raheel Shareef has had.

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Shola January 7, 2015 - 9:01 am

Malala does more for Pakistan than any general will ever dream of doing.

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Taxla January 1, 2015 - 8:39 pm

You must be joking

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jojo2jojo February 14, 2015 - 11:18 am

dont know who is jibran but disgusting malala

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Abu Amir Waziri Dsli February 14, 2015 - 11:51 am

that what America will.

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Seemab January 1, 2015 - 1:13 pm

The dedication, determination, patriotism and loyalty of Pakistani forces is of no match to any other forces in the world. Gen. Raheel Sharif is the true and live example of all the attributes the Army of Pakistan presents. The recent visit of General to USA was proved to be fruitful and made the proud of him because he with solidarity and without any fear presented his nation at some international platform.

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Muhammad Ziaur Rahman January 1, 2015 - 1:53 pm

I firmly believe Gen Raheel and Imran Khan share this.

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Mak January 1, 2015 - 3:54 pm

A clean soldier having UPRIGHTNESS as a hallmark of his character. Will never get his uniform degraded nor national sovereignty for the reason that there are no compromising IFs & BUTs.

Getting rid of terrorism is of paramount importance for Pakistan and equally in the interest of India. So big brother must behave and avoid stabbing its younger brother from the rear to avoid its ramifications that are written on the wall as scary nuclear HOLOCAUST.

Pakistan and India has no option but to live in peace and harmony to strengthen their economy and take care of poorest of the poorest for their poverty elevation.

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khumar January 1, 2015 - 4:29 pm

Pakistan army has always been lucky to have best leadership which can lead entire nation during crisis. General Raheel Sharif is Pakistan’s fifteenth army Chief of Staff and comes from a highly-decorated army family. His older brother, the late Major Shabbir Sharif, received Pakistan’s highest military award, the Nishan-e-Haider. Months after assuming the top command, General Sharif launched a comprehensive operation against the Pakistani Taliban and their allies in North Waziristan. Prior to the campaign, he told a military audience the army is determined to restore peace to the country. The whole nation stand by Pak army which is fighting war against militants in tribal areas.

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Taxla January 1, 2015 - 9:11 pm

It’s pity that the decisions, the Army Chief is making should have been made by the elected Government and not the Army Chief. He should have stayed out of politics altogether let alone forming the country’s policies. That’s a Prime Minister’s job.
Civilian Democratically elected Government and parallel Army Government won’t work. It’s a recipe for disaster.

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SABZ January 3, 2015 - 7:28 pm

Two things Mr Taxla. Firstly, it is the failure of the civilian government that they are not making the decision, they are supposed to make. Secondly, what more disaster do you expect after losing 150 in Peshawar disaster.

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AKRAM February 3, 2015 - 2:23 am

CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT IS TAKING CARE OF LAHORE AND THEMSELVES ONLY .WHEN THEY TELL THE TERRORISTS DO NOT HIT US . THEN WHY SHOULD THEY MAKE A DECISION AGAINST THE TERRORISTS .HAVE YOU EVER HAIRED THAT ANY MILL OR HOUSE OF THE RICH PEOPLE HAS BEEN DESTROYED BY THE FLOOD . THEY ARE ALWAYS SAFE FROM ATTACK OR FLOOD . ONLY ARMY AND POOR PEOPLE ARE TARGETED . ARMY IS THE ONE TAKING CARE OF THE POOR IN FLOODED AREAS . CIVILIANS ONLY CAN BRING PEOPLE FOR JALSAS AND JALOOS HALAGULA . YOU WILL NEVER SEE THEM SAD ABOUT DYING PEOPLE THEY KEEP ON HAVING JOKES AND LAUGH LOUD .GOOD MEALS AND GAP SHAP ….

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Bakhtiar Ali September 2, 2015 - 2:34 pm

People like U are enough for the country to be laid down we need no enemy as we have people like U, behold ur mouth dont speak against present patriotic Military leadership otherwise U will b kicked out of country shame on U, salute to military leadership which are fighting the most difficult war in history against terrorism.

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Taimoor Hassan January 1, 2015 - 11:58 pm

This is another proof of failure of Political leadership….!

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Mak January 2, 2015 - 11:39 am

Critic is easier than recommending solution to our fragile political maturity that is in the making. Raheel is boldly and smartly managing its responsibilities. Yes disaster is written on the wall for sellable politicians. As long as nation stands behind Armed Forces of Pakistan to get rid of menace of lunatic mindset & cheaply bought politicians by the princely states, rest assure no one ever dare harm Pakistan.

Our might revolves around INTERNAL cohesion and 200 million people of Pakistan stands united to support the sole institution that is available for crises management. Democratic norms are slowly and gradually strengthening its roots. There will be difficult times, there will be bloodshed and there will be Armed Forces bashing to create rift between nation and its security institutions but the vested won’t succeed. I respect the views of Taxla and Taimoor Hassan…….certainly not representing the majority class.

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Zubair Khan January 3, 2015 - 2:51 am

An extremly valuable and thought provoking annalysis. Gen Raheel belongs to a family which means bussines on fair and honest terms. Hope soon Paksitan will be completely on right track.

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Rajesh Moudgil January 3, 2015 - 8:50 pm

really impressed with work doing by Gen Raheel. Many accolades for taking an unexpected stand and giving a great push. bravo… kept in it up Gen Raheel

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sartaj hussain January 5, 2015 - 10:50 am

yes General Raheel Sharif took charge of Army at crucial moments in Pakistan and he started fight against Terrorist forces and his operation “Zarb e Azb” is successfully on and the recent Peshawer Incident brought all political school of thoughts against to finish Terroism from the country under his guidelines,Army and political forces are of the same opinion to eliminate this danger from the country,now a voice to build a ” Naya Pakistan”in the country spread by Imran Khan Chairman PTI and he brought a big crowed for this idealism and got a big support for the change of system in the country and his Dharna was successful and remain on container for a few months with people but Peshawer tragic incident changes the atmosphere in the country and political scene changed and the role of Army chief appeared again on National stage inevitably in fact General Raheel Sharif supported the Democratic order in the country and his role for building a “Naya Pakistan” is above all who claimed for building it with out peace no progress can be achieve and for seeking peace the key role of Army can not be ignored,so Gen. Raheel Sharif appeaed as most powerful player of the current situation with his new ISI chief Gen.Rizwan Akhter both the have the ability to handle the country at this crucial stage and Army enjoying full support of the people though there are voices for the takeover by Army but Genral Raheel supporting the democracy and doing his professional duties in the best interest of the country because the role of Army and its institution is inevitablefor the country.

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Shola January 7, 2015 - 8:59 am

Man of the year should have been Muhammad Jibran Nasir. This publication and all others touting the army should be ashamed of themselves. Lying to the public and pushing the military agenda in a nation torn by foreign interest, military interest and militarism. Media has to be blamed for the lies and lack of information.

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Engineer Aneela Khan January 9, 2015 - 10:17 am

luve you Pak army 🙂

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desi January 12, 2015 - 4:01 am

There was a similar sentiment expressed when Gen. Yakub Khan was replaced in Dacca by Gen. Niazi and we alll know how that movie played out. We should learn from our mega mistakes. That is why in India and in the rest of the world Army is subordinate to civilians. Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrument_of_Surrender_%281971%29

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ayyubkulla January 12, 2015 - 7:57 pm

Nation is fortunate once more to have a COAS that brings pride with no more isolation in international community and negotiations with Taliban Terrorists; good or bad. It clearly proves the failure of present weak government that came in power through rigged elections. MNS fully engrossed in corruption leaving behind AAZ records will try to reap the advantage of this gallant course of action of Pak Army but people of Pakistan know the bottom line. Only peace in the region through this strategy can stop expected Holocaust in subcontinent through SAARC, US support and backed overwhelmingly by an international community.

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Ahmar Mustikhan (@mustikhan) January 14, 2015 - 3:56 am

My first objection is Gen Raheel Sharif official bio makes states he hails from the “martial stock.” I find this claim quite racist. No. 2, army has no business in politics. No. 3 army is still carrying its war crimes against Baloch people. No. 4 If army is so sincere in fighting terrorism why is Ayman al Zwahiri still a guest of Pakistan? No. 5 Army must stop interference in Kashmir and disarm the jihadis it supports. No. 6 It must respect the sovereignty of Balochistan and give a timetable for withdrawing from Occupied Balochistan.

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Khaled May 30, 2015 - 1:27 pm

(@mustikhan) Man! U must be out of ur senses to talk like the above. Your assertions and objections are totally unfounded and untrue. U are either having some vested interests or a lunatic.

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Bakhtiar Ali September 2, 2015 - 2:47 pm

some people are paid to talk against our beloved country and our beloved Army which are fighting the most difficult battle for survival of our beloved Country Remember no other country will save us our children families except our military regime salute to Pak Army & shame on coward traitor Allah will not forgive those inshallah who are against 200 million people wishes & survival, laanat on traitor.

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AKRAM February 3, 2015 - 2:38 am

GOOD AND BAD PEOPLE ARE EVERY WHERE AND EVERY DEPARTMENT . WHEN A BAD PERSON DOES SOMETHING THE WHOLE DEPARTMENT SUFFERS .

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Abu Amir Waziri Dsli February 14, 2015 - 11:57 am

you mean that Musharf bring terrorism in Pakistan. you are absolutely wright.

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Wajiha February 6, 2015 - 2:00 pm

Dear Ahmar, the institution of military forces in Pakistan has been fighting an ideological battle of being the protectors of the boundary of Pakistan, as enunciated by our founding father Quaid-e-Azam to them. I agree Balochistan has been mistreated in giving financial equity & progress but that’s also because the local chiefs want to hold power in their own hands much like the waderas of Sindh or South Punjab.
I am all for bringing missing persons back & questioning the directives of why they were picked up in the first place. But Balochistan is not occupied. They joined Pakistan when the British left and there needs to be an accountability of the local chiefs as to why & where provincial government funds were spent, as is the need in all provinces of Pakistan.

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True Baloch February 22, 2015 - 1:45 am

i think mr traitor and Hindu pithoo you should go to India and talk about narendra modi rather than our pure land. The disgusting smelly and rotten smell of your comment is quite explanatory about your paymaster Hindus. I’m the real Baloch and I’m proud of being Pakistani.

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N. Khan September 6, 2015 - 1:06 am

Pakistan – You are a pathetic, ridiculous sham of a nation sometimes. i have never seen such mainstream military wanking in my life. Idiots.

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Viet Fun Travel December 19, 2016 - 6:43 am

Pakistani military dedication, determination, patriotism and loyalty to any other force in the world can not match. General Raheel Sharif, the Pakistani army is real life and all the properties of the examples. recent visit to the United States proved to be effective, and very proud of him, because he is united, without any fear, in some international platform to showcase the country themselves.

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