Raheel Sharif, the ex-chief who could be the king. He ruled the hearts of the nation, today when he handed over the Malacca cane to General Qamar Bajwa, whole nation was greived and clapped for his services.
This type of love was never given to any other human being in Pakistan, leave the politicians aside.
Raheel Sharif has been quite popular among Pakistanis – who see him as the bulwark against terrorism and corruption and his resolute leadership throughout his tenure.
The day he made his intention public for not seeking extension in service drew widespread praise for setting a precedent that some of his predecessors couldn’t.
The army chief’s esteem among the public was not just circumscribed to the famous slogan #ThankyouRaheelSharif – it later appeared in the form of graffiti and memes on the social media.
Within the military, says one of his old friends, Raheel Sharif is known from his early days in uniform as a man of high character and steely resolve. “I remember a boxing game at the academy in which Bobby [Raheel Sharif] was pitted against a tough opponent. I do not remember who won the contest, but he bravely took all the punches from his opponent, with the same expressionless face you see on television channels, and never left the fight.”
“His ability to inspire confidence and love in the troops is quite remarkable,” says his friend from the military academy.
“It is Raheel Sharif’s strong character and compassion for his juniors that sets him apart from the rest of the pack. He is not just a commander but a leader — the one soldiers happily obey and follow in war,”: Musharraf
In 2015, Raheel Sharif’s popularity grew out of the barracks and spread across Pakistan, making him more popular than any politician including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan.
A mosque in Islamabad was named after him last year, and his portraits could be spotted on the back of trucks and auto rickshaws everywhere. Banners and billboards featuring his image still adorn the streets of almost every big city.
When Afghan President Ashraf Ghani made his first visit to Pakistan in 2014, he drove straight to the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi to meet Raheel Sharif before seeing the civilian leadership in Islamabad. The general spends a lot of his time visiting capitals across the globe – from London and Washington to Beijing and Kabul – to meet monarchs, presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and, yes, his counterparts in other militaries. No significant foreign dignitary visiting Islamabad leaves Pakistan without having a meeting with Raheel Sharif.
Even though the rise in his public and official stature seems personal, it is not. It cannot be separated from some other developments that mark a massive increase in the military’s pre-eminence in national affairs. The passage of the Protection of Pakistan Act shortly after the launch of Zarb-e-Azb in July 2014. The announcement of the National Action Plan (NAP) in the aftermath of the Peshawar school attack in December that year and the passage of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution early in 2015 put together, “effectively took away the initiative from the civilians and handed it over on a platter to the military.”
He got awarded with Nishan-e-Imtiaz. Raheel Sharif also got awards from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United States, Brazil and Jordan. He was the brave soldier and intelligent leader who surfaced and conquered.
Good Bye Sir;