General Raheel Sharif born 16 June 1956) is the 15th Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army, in office since 2013.
Early life, family and education
Raheel Sharif was born on 16 June 1956 in Quetta to a family of prominent military background. His father was Major Muhammad Sharif. His eldest brother is Major Shabbir Sharif, who died in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and received the Nishan-e-Haider posthumously. He is the youngest sibling among three brothers and two sisters. His other brother, Mumtaz Sharif, was a captain in the army. He is the nephew of Major Raja Aziz Bhatti, another Nishan-e-Haider recipient, who fought in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. Despite sharing a common surname he is not directly related to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He is married and has three children, which include two sons and a daughter.
Sharif received his formal education from the Government College in Lahore and afterward attended the Pakistan Military Academy. After graduation in 1976, he was commissioned into the 6th Battalion of the Frontier Force Regiment, where his elder brother had also served. He served as an adjutant to the Pakistan Military Academy and joined an infantry brigade in Gilgit. As a brigadier, he commanded two infantry brigades.In time, he was assigned command of the 11th Infantry Division in Lahore by General Pervez Musharraf. Sharif was also the General Commanding Officer of an infantry division and Commandant of the Pakistan Military Academy. Following his promotion to Lieutenant General, Sharif served as a corps commander for two years and then took over as Inspector General for Training and Evaluation in the Pakistan Army.
Chief of Army Staff
On 27 November 2013, Sharif was appointed as the 15th Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. According to sources, General Sharif is said to be uninterested in politics. But he was elevated over two more senior generals. Lieutenant General Haroon Aslam, a senior general, resigned over Sharif’s elevation. Another senior general, Rashad Mahmood was appointed as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. The News reported that both generals may have been superseded because of their action in the 1999 coup.