What has General Raheel Sharif Changed?

By Umair Arif

raheel sharif2
Imran Khan recently tweeted that the “popularity level of Gen Raheel Sharif is touching skies”. Even though this is true but I am one of the many who are not easily convinced by the superficial displays of patriotism, songs, signboards or statements, which determine ‘popularity’ of political and military “celebrities”. I would rather discuss the serious issues like policies designed to resolve the chronic problems of the country. While Gen Raheel has shown lots of determination, I must say that, I don’t find his approach different from his predecessors (Kiyani and Musharraf ). It is true that due to Gen Raheel’s resolve extortion and target killings have gone down in Karachi. But my reservations are as follows:

Same Drone policy

Let us start with the Drones’ issue. Nothing has been done to restore the air sovereignty of Pakistan that is being continuously invaded by the US. The drone strikes by the Americans continue and perhaps have increased in the recent months. How is it any different from the situation under Gen Kiyani (when more than 300 strikes took place) and Musharraf (when these strikes started).

Dependence on the America

Pakistan does not have an independent foreign policy and sometimes even the domestic policies are influenced by other nations. Secondly, any Chief of Army Staff is close to the Americans. For instance, General Raheel has been awarded the Legion of Merit (LOM) by the U.S. This award is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements for U.S. Similar interest was shown by the Americans in the case of his predecessors From Ayub, Zia, Musharraf, Kiyani etc. Our dependent behavior remains the same.

Extending the American war on terror

After General Musharraf joined the US war on terror as a front line state, there had been several militancy related operations, which destabilized our country immensely. We have had more than 55,000 civilians dead and more than 6,000 army personnel have laid their lives for the war after the Americans invaded Afghanistan. There was just one reported suicide bomb in Pakistan before 9/11 in 1987 and after our alliance with American, we had to pay a huge cost with more than 450 suicide attacks on our soil.
Musharraf started military operations in 2004 in South Waziristan, then Kayani started operation in 2008 in Swat and other regions. General Raheel has been leading operations in North Waziristan and Khyber agencies.DG ISPR Major General Asim Bajwa while briefing at GHQ said, “For the military, there will be no discrimination among Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) groups or Haqqani network, all terror groups are going to be eliminated.”
It is well known that Pakistan’s enemies are the TTP operated groups, and the Haqqanis have never attacked our soil. The Haqqanis – even after several drone strikes on their women and children – did not take up arms against the Pak Army. Have we thought how after Zarb-e-Azab we may be creating more enemies of Pakistani state?

Same policy of heated rhetoric and blame game with India

Complaining to America about Indian involvement and waging a war of words with India. Using Kashmir issue and Indian animosity to whip patriotism; and taking no concrete steps to resolve them. Same policy here.

Continuing the Army operations policy in Balochistan

Last month, at least 13 suspected militants belonging to the BLF were killed in a raid by security forces near Turbat. Balochistan operations continue to take place and atrocities are generally underreported or not discussed at all.

Increasing the Missing persons Issues

On Jan 14, 2015, acccording to media reports, the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances (CIED) was seized with 1,265 cases as of Dec 31. But the Defence of Human Rights (DHR) claims that the total number of cases of missing persons is 5,149 and 252 of them surfaced in 2014 alone.
Zohra Yusuf, Chairperson HRCP talking about rangers operations in Karachi said: “HRCP has many concerns with regard to due process amid a perceptible rise in suspects’ killings in encounters in Karachi… We cannot stress enough the need for transparency in security operations, and unequivocally state that people being picked up and their whereabouts remaining unknown for days is utterly unacceptable.” Especially after the National Action Plan, the situation of missing person cases has increased. Has our policy changed?

Throwing around 2.8 million people in Camps

How can a country move in the right direction when it displaces its own citizens for every operation that is carried out? FATA was already governed in a terrible manner and now people are suffering from multiple security operations. On 19th March 2015, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Lt General (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch said that the ongoing operation of repatriating Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their respective areas would be completed by December 2016. A total of Rs 2.8 million people belonging to seven agencies had to leave their homes due to military operation against militants.

Keeping army relevant as a political actor

The best start of army officials’ involvement was seen during the ‘dharna’ game of 2014; and the Army Chief was presented as the savior of Pakistanis as silly politicians fought with each other. Even though I do not have much hope from the current system and our politicians but a soft army coup is not the answer to our problems. It seems to be a repeat telecast of army involvement when general Kiyani resolved the issue of restoring the former Chief Justice in 2009 when tensions escalated between the PML(N) and the PPP.
On 26 July, 2015, Gen Raheel said: “CPEC and Gwadar Port will be built and developed as one of the most strategic deep sea ports in the region at all costs,” Even though it is a purely civilian initiative and the government of China has made contract with the government of Pakistan. Such statements undermine the civilian setup unnecessarily and increase the powers of the military establishment.

Silencing free journalism

The message is loud and clear to the journalists. You cannot criticize any action of army. You cannot give coverage to the other side of story of the affectees of drones, Zarb-e-Azab, Balochistan issue, IDPs, Karachi operation. You cannot discuss corruption cases within the security agencies. Anyone doing this is a traitor in the homeland. Media is influenced by the intelligence agencies; and the Army public relations department plays a major role these days in shaping public opinion. Such media management is even stronger than the Musharraf or Kiyani eras!

Pushing Legislation to control citizens

Legislation has been pushed which undermines the freedom of civilians and basic human rights. The PPO and the 21st constitutional amendment (under National Action Plan) are clear examples of it. These legal changes make military the judge, the prosecutor and the witness against everyone.
With the passage of the far-reaching Pakistan Protection Act (PPA) 2014, LEAs now have legal cover to enter and search any premises without warrant as well as detain and fire at “enemy aliens/militants” whom they reasonably believe will commit an offence.
What Musharraf started continues. No questions or FIRs on extra judicial killings by the rangers and army operations or the drones. The blame has been placed on the judiciary for freeing terrorists. Instead of strengthening the current judicial structures, the parliament has set up military courts.
And interestingly, if something goes wrong on the security front, it will be the parliamentary PM who will be held accountable.

Supporting militias

If you have heard of the Jamat-ud-Dawa and Jaish-al-Muhammad or Hizb-ul-Mujahideen you would know what I mean. All these groups continue to have offices and banners and billboards and campaigning. This policy has not changed either.
I believe the above points clearly demonstrate that as far as the major policies are concerned, the country has not seen anything new. Patriotic songs, media gimmicks and billboards are of little use given the serious issues faced by the country. The military should contribute to Pakistan’s progress by letting civilians rule and take decisions. We need our troops to guard us from internal and external threats but the Parliament, free media and civil liberties cannot be compromised. We are already suffering from the past transgressions.


The author is an assistant professor at Bahria University and completing his PhD in Artificial intelligence from NUST

  • Kamath.

    The general has been pushing tactical nuclear weapons for Pakistan! Read Pak prime minister’s arguments in Washington for credible deterrence against India’s booming military expenditure, aggressive military stance and Refusal to agree to UN’s declaration for plebiscite in Kashmir etc. Etc. Who is behind scenes?

    First use of nuclear tactical weapons to save Pakistan then on the way to nuclear Armagaddon (? sp?)

  • Rex Minor

    The author needs to change the name of the articls to ” wasted years of Sharifs” and remove the picture of the PR officer of the Government. His well written article deserves more than one comment.

    Rex Minor

  • bjk

    Like his predecessors, this jarnail sahib is also a great believer in not messing around with job security.

  • STT

    Well analyzed. Good review on what has changed under Raheel Shareef. Our rulers still act as a western puppet and still hasn’t been able to decide independently.

    But whats missing is the vagueness of solution/change that is required i.e. the cycle of corrupt rulers been appointed through the system (democracy). The basic fault still lies in the system which appeals corrupt, rich & powerful to achieve the power of law making to benefit themselves which is accessible in this system. Untill this system is replaced these corrupt rulers will always achieve that power by hook or by crook & rule us.

  • Malik Awan

    Did anyone else give so much in last 8 years ? Authour Please donot multiple efforts of Gen Raheel with zero. At least he is the only one seen a bit worried about this country. And please answer one question Do terrorist have some rules of engagement, if no then please stop advocating their case. You become a sophisticated enemy and they will finish off your children even. Have a heart, even if now you donot understand. You surely will when they will target your near and dear ones. We are facing a special war which demands much more. Else be ready for their much more and they donot follow Geneva convention. Good luck

  • kaalchakra

    Raheel is making a genuine effort against terrorists who target Pakistan. Unfortunately, he is also making a genuine effort against PPP, MQM, and probably ANP. The manner in which he has gone out of his way to castrate Nawaz Sharif after Ufa is particularly worrisome for anyone who may be looking for some real change in Pakistan.

  • Malik Awan

    @masadi. . still you think it’s America’s war .. It was but now it is not.

  • Syed Muhammad Naeem

    Well, sir the point that has not been considered yet by me and many that our powerful general hasn’t stopped US drones yet and that is really disappointing. Secondly it is that our civilian leadership becomes such dull that the boots have to or want to take hold of matters. The point of IDPs displacement is irrelevant because it was need of the time, there wasn’t much other choice if there would have been the author must have mentioned that, the mention able thing is that army committed itself to settle the IDPs when it seems not to be their job but of Government. On US faith on the COAS of Pakistan, policies are being followed just, nothing to complain about until unless there some one from civilian Leadership stands up to change these policies. Balochistan is never being disclosed to us …

  • Rex Minor

    Malik Awan,
    The fate of your General is sealed by his own announcements of zarbe-e- Azab, this is what the scriptures say! Your time is up Sir, it is a matter of hour when the big one(not 7.5) will come, and come it will, from Kabul to Peshawar, to Islamabad and new Delhi, there are many good people who are preventing the final stroke of the almighty in this area to wipe it off the map.

    Rex Minor

  • masadi

    The million IDPs were created supposedly going after 3000 terrorists, this is the height of not only idiocy but impersonality and lack of care for the citizens of Pakistan.. It is not the government’s responsibility to resettle them when the government did not want this operation but it was forced on them by the general on behalf of AmeriKKKa because it was good for their mutual business but dastardly for the civil government. It was not the need of the hour, it was AmeriKKKa’s need

  • kaalchakra

    Oh man…this is literally begging to be given space. Even Edhi has more self respect.

  • kaalchakra

    ” The guy is a sellout, that is why he is censoring me and I think he will turn down the offer of muzakaraat.”

    Yaar Asadi, you have turned out to be a far bigger loser than we all knew you were. The powers that be here will decide upon his mercy petition.

    But animal control never has to take much human time. One just has to be consistent and work completely efficiently at one’s own convenience. Only the monkey will be engaged in 24/7 mujra until it is trained or gives up the ghost.

  • kaalchakra

    Muhammed Aasadi, I will leave you alone to do you monkey dance so all your messages can ring in your head 🙂

  • kaalchakra

    Yaar Asadi, seeing you so shamelessly beg and grovel for muzakaraat so quickly, I did want to express my surprise and joy. The medicine is clearly working. But I do have a life, so catch you later if you are still performing your ‘death-to-the-world’ mujra…

  • hellfire

    masadi says:
    October 27, 2015 at 10:39 pm
    F AmeriKKKa’s racist cops including this sheriff’s deputy. F the racist NYPD.

    you seem more confused than usual my boy. NY PD is New York police Dept. the article yure ranting about is regarding South Carolina Police dept. rest assured, they would all delight in making your…uh…aquaintance. and are provided with your rants which brings them not only amusement and pity but also extreme concern regreing your mental helth status.

  • posit

    As before protecting Pakistan means to protect the islamofascists and the generals and their bootlickers and arab interests.
    The common pakistani is just a tool and fodder in islam’s fascist imperialist ghazwa against mankind.

  • hellfire

    sure dude, willndo lol! lalala….

    meantime…man…i was, according to you, facing “imminenet arrest”. for stalking, bullying, pedophilia, child abuse and numerous other felonies….any update on that.

    how about the imminenet down fallmof the “uskkka”? malala overdosing on herion in a crack house while practicing prostitution.

    any updates on these “prophesies”?

  • hellfire

    ok so masadi are you implying tht I am hallucinating these prophesies of yours and that is the reason you are prescribing meds for me? please Do elaborate. if such prophesies are indeed held by you, we need some idea of timeframe man. when exactly will “amreeekkka” fall”? when exactly will malala become addicted to crack/cocaine and practice protstitution? when will india fall? when will the swat team raid my house and arrest me? when will my children be hauled off to foster homes due to my pedophilia and/or child abuse?

    do tell! 🙂

  • Rex Minor

    Masadi says,

    big one should have come when they were butchering the Bengalis, and killing the people of Pakistan?

    Allah does not work on your timetable…

    Masadi puttar( Skhs lnguage), why must you poke your nose in matters which are beyond your knowledge or imagination. What is the bigger punishment for an honourable man,the disgrace in Indians imprisonment or a mere death?
    You seem to enjoy on the weaknesses of a juvenile student, RHR with hindu ancestory by definition will have little sympathy for the Pashtun tribesmen, who were ordained to accept the religion of Islam at the hands of the Prophet of God. Others from India like Salman Rushdi have not only criticised the muslim theologists but even challenged the authencity of the Quraanic Suras.

    It matters not what the devils advocate preach or interpret, it has no impact on the Truth.

    Rex Minor

  • Zain

    Nothing on facts. Useless article. You need to do more research…

  • posit

    Can anyone protect the PTH?
    …against filthy language and falsehoods.

    A genuine god will never allow any single human being to be killed or insulted or terrorized in the name of, or for the honor of, his genuine prophet and genuine message.
    This proves that this 7th century arab “religion” and its god and prophet are all fake.
    Why so many human beings lack the simple intelligence to realize this?

  • tajender
  • tajender
  • hellfire

    how very sweet! I am away for 12 hours and you miss me already! Never fear…you are being watched and monitored, not only by me but by those organizations that you so love to hate. The folks here at PTH have things well in hand and have you doing your dance to their tune…its amusing to read but shows you up to be the pitiable miserable gnome otherwise known as masadi. poor poor you.

    anyway dude…you are still clinging like an Alabama tick to the notion that I am verzie and have some sway over your access to DBB. There was a very brief discussion regarding your return and you should be delighted to hear that I voted in favor…IF and WHEN you write a letter of apology to the good folk there and promise to uphold at least basic levels of decency in your interactions. Since we know that this isn’t within your realm of capability…sorry dude. DBB is just fine without you regardless of your prophesies of doom for that site. This is all you have left…here on PTH. Intermittently. so have yourself a really nice day. and take your Haldol.

  • saadhafiz

    Dr Gibberish (Rex Minor):

    “Pashtun tribesmen, who were ordained to accept the religion of Islam at the hands of the Prophet of God.” Can you please explain this profound comment!

  • Rex Minor


    Dr Gibberish (Rex Minor):

    “Pashtun tribesmen, who were ordained to accept the religion of Islam at the hands of the Prophet of God.” Can you please explain this profound comment!Saadhafiz, quraanic suras

    And you sir who writes Quraanic suras and interprets them as well on PTH site and write about the Europeans, do not know about the children of Bibi Moto and Batan whose leader went to Madina and was declared a muslim and all his tribe after taking the oath of allegance, to no other than the Prophet of God(pbuh) himself, and returned as Malik Abdul Rashid, which today number over 80 millions as the largest tribe in the world, never conquered by any force.
    You reckon that the Paki General and his Punjabi army has the mettle to defeat them when their land is regarded as the friedhof cemetry of the most powerful in the world.

    A good day sir!

    Rex Minor

  • Rex Minor

    Malik or Qai.s Abdul Rashid is the name appears in many cauthentic history books

  • saadhafiz

    Dr Minor:


    It is to be noted that Qais Abdur Rashid is not the direct blood father of all modern day Afghan Tribes. In truth he was only the head of the delegation the Afghans sent to meet the Prophet at Medinah and Makkah. This delegation comprised of 76 members and representatives from all the Afghan tribes which also represented all the Ten Lost Tribes Of Israel. However, Qais was selected because he was among them the direct descendant of King Saul (Hazrat Talut A.S.) and therefore represented the purest blood of the line of the Kings Of Israel.

    When different Afghan tribes relate their ancestry from him, or call him the father, it is out of honor and respect. This in no way is to be taken literally.

  • Rex Minor

    Saad Hafiz,

    Are you telling us your profound discovery or simply asking for confirmation, the answer is very straight, you are on the wrong track? You need to research a bit more and research several famous historians. findings.

    Rex Minor

  • Rex Minor

    rex baita, septic tanky has deleted all my posts, do you support this censorship? If not why are you not voicing your condemnation?16ment

    PTH management and the moderators have the right to accept or reject, approve or delete any posters on this site without providing any explanation. We must discipline ourslves in our comments so that they are not rejected. I have this experience with several international and Paki sites and have over time improved my input. You must follow the rules or take a hike,to use Saad Hafiz slogan to trolls. I am sure you are not a troll but are very rich in the use of gutter slangs.Perhaps you should send the text to Kaalchakra for corrections before submission.

    Rex Minor

  • tajender
  • tajender

    Attacked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the quota issue, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today hit back accusing Mr Modi of brazenly using “divisive language” and warned he may “lose” India in his “desperation” to win the “losing battle” of Bihar.

    ahmadabad was burnt and gujratis were roasted so that bjp can win.

  • kaalchakra

    Tajender bhai, as a Pakistani Indian, what’s your take on this – is speaking of Pakistan in India the same as speaking of Muslims, and is talking of India in Pakistan the same as talking of Hindus? 🙂

  • saadhafiz

    Dr Minor: pleased to hear that you are a rabid advocate of Pathan/White Power!

  • tajender
  • tajender

    kaalchakra says:
    October 30, 2015 at 7:49 pm
    Tajender bhai, as a Pakistani Indian, what’s your take on this – is speaking of Pakistan in India the same as speaking of Muslims

    i dont know about pakistan in india those who can not abuse muslims openly, abuse pakistan like shiv sena.i never heard any shvsainik ever dying for india on border.

  • posit

    to tajender

    don’t forget that islam’s plan for a muslim is to take part in the extermination of non-muslims, by whatever means.
    No matter how good or nice or simple or liberal a muslim, he is an instrument or agent of this plan.

    This what non-muslims are realizing more and more.
    That is what is going to happen in the long term.

    A muslim trying to be nice or “patriotic” is merely fooling the non-muslims and weakening them.

    Every hindu is a shiva sainik (he has to be that for his self-protection against the evil islamic imperialism) – but that does not mean he obeys this silly Thakre family stuff.

    This Bal Thakre family is just many nuts who are full of lies and deceits and bring bad name to real shiv sainiks.

  • tajender


  • tajender

    posit says:
    October 31, 2015 at 12:08 am
    to tajender

    don’t forget that islam’s plan for a muslim is to take part in the extermination of non-muslims, by whatever means

    your record of past 68 yrs is for everybody to read.

  • tajender


    A German language documentary shows the size and brilliance of the project:


    Water Wars

    Fresh clean water, as provided to the Libyans by the Great Man-Made River, is essential to all life forms. Without fresh water we simply cannot function. Right now, 40% of the global population has little to no access to clean water, and that figure is actually expected to jump to 50% by 2025. According to the United Nations Development Program 2007, global consumption of water is doubling every 20 years, more than twice the rate of human population growth. Simultaneously, every single year most of the major deserts around the world are becoming bigger and the amount of usable agricultural land in most areas is becoming smaller, while rivers, lakes and major underground aquifers around the globe are drying up – except in Gaddafi’s Libya.

    In the light of the current world developments, there is more to the NATO destruction of the Great Man-Made River Project than being an isolated war crime. The United Nations Environment Program 2007 describes a so-called “water for profit scheme”, which actively promotes the privatization and monopolization for the world’s water supplies by multinational corporations. Meanwhile the World Bank recently adopted a policy of water privatization and full-cost water pricing, with one of its former directors, Ismail Serageldin, stating: “The wars of the 21st century will be fought over water”.

    In practice this means that the United Nations in collaboration with the World Bank plans to secure water resources to use at their disposal, and that once they totally control these resources, the resources become assets to be reallocated back to the enslaved nations for a price. Those prices will rise while the quality of the water will decrease, and fresh water sources will become less accessible to those who desperately need it. Simply put, one of the most effective ways to enslave the people is to take control of their basic daily needs and to take away their self-sufficiency.

    How this relates to the NATO destruction of Gaddafi’s Great Man-Made River Project in July 2011 can be best illustrated by the Hegelian Dialectic, popularly known as the concept of Problem -> Reaction -> Solution. In this case, by bombing the water supply and the pipes factory, a Problem was created with an ulterior motive, namely to gain control over the most precious part of Libya’s infrastructure. Subsequently a Reaction in the form of an immediate widespread need was provoked as a result of the Problem, since as much as 70% of the Libyans depend on the Great Man-Made River for personal use as well as for the watering of the land. A month after the destruction of the Great Man-Made River, more than half of Libya was without running water. Ultimately a predetermined Solution was implemented: in order to have access to fresh water, the inhabitants of the war-torn country had no choice but to fully depend on – and thus to be enslaved to – the NATO-installed government.

    A ‘democratic’ and ‘democracy-bringing’ government that came to power through the wounding and killing of thousands of Libyans by ‘humanitarian bombs’, and that overthrow the ‘dictator’ whose dream it was to provide fresh water for all Libyans for free.

    War is still peace, freedom is still slavery

  • tajender
  • Rex Minor

    Saad Hafiz,

    Your liberal friend? The so called theologist who was teaching religion in karachi university? The article in the Express Tribune….

    Dr Shakil Auj — my martyred father

    The martyrdom of my father repres¬ents the battle betwee¬n right and wrong
    By Dr Muhammad Hassan

    Martyred? The man of God and Quraan has no business to authorise muslim women to marry Godless men nor justify death sentences for the believers, when God commands , though shall not kill nor judge others for though shall be judged.
    Rex Minor

  • rex minor

    The General in the uniform ans his team are responible for pakistn to kicked out of The uno human rights council.

    Rex minor

  • saadhafiz

    Dr Minor: I guess this the world you want!


    “The men surround the woman as she stands in a hole dug into the stony ground, only her head pokes above the surface. Then they begin to pick up rocks and hurl them at her again and again from close range.
    Her agonized cries grow louder as the barrage of stones intensifies.
    The barbaric killing took place in a Taliban-controlled village in central Afghanistan last week, according to the provincial governor. Video of it, apparently filmed on a cell phone, has circulated on social media.”

  • Rex Minor

    Saad Hafiz,

    You are a fool to rely on CNN propaganda stories, which even Göbel could not concieve! Every inhuman incident in the middle east is carried out by ISIS, not by those who are the rulers dictators in the land and everything inhuman carried out in Pakistan and Afghanistan is posted to the account of so callekd Talibans. God damn it, there is no such animal like ‘Taliban’, but the ‘Resistance’ at local level which is being cosmeticaly put all together under the dumbrella of ‘Taliban’. There are estimated 80 million Pashtuns living in that region, the question one must be allowed to ask which part of the territory is under the control of Afghan, Pakistan, USA and NATO military might? Take the courage and visit the war torn countries with a camera man and qualify for a politzer prize.
    You are most likely to be surprised as our Todenhöfer was!

    The so called talibans will not hurt you as was experienced by our Todenhöfer.

    Rex Minor

  • tajender
  • posit

    to tajender

    …russian plane was brought down by arabs dressed as israelis…
    you are too dumb to realize that. being a bootlicker of arabs you can’t be different, you can’t be honest and intelligent.

  • saadhafiz

    Dr Minor: you described it accurately ” we are falling under the dumb-brella of the Taliban”!

  • tajender
  • ArifK

    I totally agree with the author of the article. If Pakistan acts to be a civilized country, then no one in the government hired job, getting salary from people’s tax money should be allowed to speak one word in public, unless permitted by the authorized rep. of the elected political government. Only private public people have all the right to make any logical statement and can air their point of view anytime they see anything incorrect in the bureaucracy or in defense work or technical tasks etc…
    Whatever the General does is his paid job to do better than others, if he wants popularity, then must take off his uniform and join the public on the street.