Raheel Sharif - New Pakistan army commander

(on Pakistan)

Lt Gen Sharif replaces Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, who retires on Thursday. The government has also named Lt Gen Rashid Mahmood as the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. His appointment is vital to fight Taliban and to determine army's role in politics. 

Gen Sharif's brother was one of the army's most decorated soldiers and was killed in the 1971 war with India.

Gen. Sharif, a career infantry soldier, is expected to continue Gen Kayani's policies and to avoid overt interference in politics.

Lt Gen Sharif is thought to have been third on the army's seniority list. 

The general was in charge at a time when relations with the US became increasingly strained - firstly over the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011 and later that year over the killing of 24 Pakistani troops at two checkpoints on the Afghan border by US airstrikes.

- Published/Last Modified on: November 26, 2013