Nuclear-Armed Pakistan Appoints New Army Chief, Chief Justice

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Ending all media speculations, Pakistan named Lieutenant General Raheel Sharif as the country’s new army chief. Prime minister Nawaz Sharif appointed Lt. Gen Raheel Sharif as the Chief of Army Staff and Lt. Gen Rashad Mahmood as the Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee. According to the Ministry of Defense, Lt. General Sharif and Lt. General Mahmood will take charge of their respective positions on Thursday, Nov.28. Nawaz Sharif sent a summary to the president, requesting him to approve the appointment of two generals. President Mamnoon Hussain approved the appointments.

General Raheel Sharif replaces Ashfaq Kiyani

General Raheel Sharif will replace General Ashfaq Kayani, who has been at the helm for the past six years. In July 2010, the PPP-led government granted General Kayani an extension amid the war on terror. The position of army chief is the most powerful post in the country. Selection of Lt General Raheel Sharif for the post indicates that Lt Gen Haroon Aslam, the current Chief of Logistic Staff and frontrunner for the top job, was ignored, reports the leading Pakistani daily Dawn.

General Raheel Sharif comes from a family of soldiers. His brother late Major Shabbir Sharif was honored with Nishan-i-Haider, the highest military award in the country for his valor in the 1971 war. And his father was a martyr. Sharif himself holds the coveted Hilal-i-Imtiaz award. Now he will be leading the 600,000-strong army. General Sharif takes charge at a time when Pakistan in facing a number of challenges including strained relations with India, a homegrown Taliban insurgency and NATO winding up its mission in Afghanistan.

Tassaduq Jillani new Chief Justice of Pakistan

In another development, president Mamnoon Hussain appointed Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani as the next Chief Justice of Pakistan. Jillani will replace the current Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry when he retires on December 11. The oath taking ceremony will take place at the Presidency on December 12, 9:00 AM local time.

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