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General Raheel Sharif, Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Military) was born in Quetta on 16 June 1956 in a martial family. His father Major Muhammad Sharif was a war veteran of Second World War. The General's elder brother Major Shabir Sharif (Shaheed) made his mark in the history of Pakistan by first earning Sitara-e-Jurat in 1965 War and then 'Nishan-e-Haider' the highest gallantry award of Pakistan for sacrificing his life in the most heroic manner in 1971 Indo-Pakistan War. Captain Mumtaz Sharif, his second elder brother is also a war veteran and recipient of 'Sitara-i-Basalat'. The general is an alumnus of Government College Lahore and graduate of Pakistan Military Academy. On his commissioning with 54th Pakistan Military Academy Long Course in October 1976, he joined the 6th Battalion of the Frontier Force Regiment, the same unit in which Major Shabir Sharif (Shaheed) had fought the two wars.
As a young officer, General Raheel Sharif performed his duties in an infantry brigade deployed in the Himalayas and later attended Company Commanders' Course in Germany. He is a graduate of Canadian Staff College, National Defence University Pakistan and Royal College of Defence Studies, United Kingdom. His illustrious military career includes coveted appointments in different ranks. He has been Adjutant of Pakistan Military Academy, Instructor in Infantry School, Brigade Major of an infantry brigade, Directing Staff in Command & Staff College Quetta, Chief of Staff in 12 and 30 Corps and Commandant Pakistan Military Academy. He has the honour of commanding his parent battalion and 26 Frontier Force Regiment as Lieutenant Colonel, 54 Independent Infantry Brigade and 106 Infantry Brigade as Brigadier, 11 Infantry Division as Major General and 30 Corps as Lieutenant General.
After commanding a corps for two years, he was appointed as Inspector General Training & Evaluation, wherein he oversaw the evolution of Pakistan Army's operational thought into New Concept of War Fighting and formulation of new training regime. He took over command of the Army in 2013 under trying circumstances at the peak of insecurity and hopelessness in the country. Under his leadership, Pakistan moved on the path to enduring peace and stability. He helped in implementation of Pakistan China Economic Corridor by creating a force for its security and successful movement of first trade cargo. The General has represented Pakistan at various international forums highlighting Pakistan’s challenges and concerns. He is recipient of medal of excellence from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Legion of Merit from USA, Turkish Legion of Merit, Jordan’s Medal of Merit and Brazil’s coveted Order of Merit.
General Raheel Sharif is the Military Commander of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition since May 2017. He is an avid reader and enjoys golf, hunting and swimming.