Indian, American And Israeli Conspiracies Against Raheel Sharif.
If there is one thing ironic in the appointment of Pakistan’s new army chief, it is the timing of his appointment. The appointment of Raheel Sharif, the highly-decorated, four-star general, as the new chief comes at a time when Pakistan is facing a large number of internal and external conflicts.
The former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Ashfaq Kayani, certainly looked relieved as he handed over the command of a 700,000 men strong, nuclear-armed military, to Sharif. The relief probably stems from the fact that recent turn of events has placed his men against the banned extremist movement, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) once again. On one hand, it seems it was about time to eradicate the extremist elements once and for all; on the other hand, it was the moment for him to step out of the position.
Kayani’s era as chief of the army was marked by three elements: His positive relations with the US even after continued drone attacks within Pakistan’s territory, and the notorious Operation Neptune Spear that killed al-Qaeda’s chief, Osama bin Laden; his strong stance against the TTP; and his protection of democratic values which is a rare case in Pakistan’s turbulent history.
There is another irony to the appointment of Sharif. The new face of Pakistan’s army and the three-time Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have very few things in common except for their surnames. On the one hand, there’s the general who led the army’s training and evaluation programme for a long time and never meddled in political affairs; on the other hand, there is Nawaz, who is notorious for meddling in the army’s internal affairs to guarantee appointments of his choice.
This is considered the main reason behind the 1999 coup by General Pervez Musharraf against Nawaz’s government that led to the prime minister’s exile and a Musharaf-led government that saw
the country through a tough US-led “war on terror” in Afghanistan. This was the first coup against Nawaz’s government, but not the first coup in Pakistan’s troubled history.