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notorious_eagle
27 Nov 13,, 11:38
ISLAMABAD: After weeks of intense speculation in the media, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has finally made the selection of two senior army officers as Chief of Army Staff and Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee.

Career infantry officer Lt Gen Raheel Sharif has been appointed as the new COAS, while Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood has been appointed the CJCSC.

According to a notification issued by the ministry of defence, Lt Gen Raheel Sharif and Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood have been promoted to the rank of four-star general with effect from Thursday, Nov 28.

Both generals would take up their new posts from Friday, the day the current Army chief Kayani retires.

Lt Gen Raheel is currently serving as Inspector General Training and Evaluation whereas Lt Gen Mahmood is serving as Chief of General Staff.

Raheel Sharif holds the Hilal-i-Imtiaz military award, and is the younger brother of late Major Shabbir Sharif, who received the Nishan-i-Haider for his bravery in the 1971 war.

Both senior military officials met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif earlier today where the premier conveyed them the decision. The two meetings were viewed as immensely significant as they came a day before General Kayani’s retirement from his post of army chief.

The prime minister had sent to the president, who is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, a summary to promote the two generals and approve their appointments. The summary was approved, following which the notification was issued by the defence ministry.

Raheel’s selection as army chief selection implies that frontrunner and the senior most military officer Lt Gen Haroon Aslam, currently serving as Chief of Logistic Staff, was ignored for the elevation.

The post of army chief is arguably the most powerful in Pakistan and anxiety prevailed on who will replace the taciturn, chain-smoking General Kayani, who will step down on Friday after six years at the helm.

General Kayani’s retirement from the post comes after rules were relaxed to grant him an extension in July 2010 by the PPP-led coalition government in what then prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said was in the interest of continuity at a time when the war on terror was successfully continuing against elements who wanted to impose a system of their choice on the country.

Lt Gen Raheel Sharif chosen as new army chief - DAWN.COM (http://www.dawn.com/news/1058927/raheel-sharif-being-appointed-new-army-chief)

ISLAMABAD: Lieutenant General Raheel Sharif was appointed as the new Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) and Lieutenant General Rashad Mehmood was appointed as the new Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff Committee (CJCSC) on Wednesday, Express Newsreported.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met Raheel and Rashad at separate meetings earlier today. Both meetings lasted for about half an hour.

Raheel was working as the Principal Staff Officer (PSO) to General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani as well as the Inspector General Training and Evaluation (IGT&E).

Rashad was working as the PSO to Kayani as well as the Chief of General Staff (CGS).

Kayani will be stepping down on November 29 after six years. He had proposed the names of Rashad as his successor and Lieutenant General Haroon Aslam as CJCSC.

Service history

Lieutenant General Raheel Sharif

• Commander, Gujranwala XXX Corps (as three-star/Lt General)

• Commandant of Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul (as two-star/Maj General)

• General Officer Commanding, Lahore (as two-star/Maj General)

Lieutenant General Rashad Mehmood

• Commander, Lahore IV Corps (as three-star/Lt General)

• DG-CTW at the ISI (where he essentially re-established the pivotal Counterrorism, or ‘C’ Branch, of Aabpara)

• Military Secretary to Nawaz Sharif-era president, Rafiq Tarar (as one-star/Brigadier)

• UN Brigade Commander (as one-star/Brigadier)

notorious_eagle
27 Nov 13,, 11:44
ISLAMABAD: On the recommendation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Lt Gen. Raheel Sharif has been appointed as Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff (COAS) while Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC).

President Mamnoon Hussain endorsed the PM’s recommendations both Lt Generals will be promoted to General rank on November 28.

Earlier on Wednesday, PM Nawaz held meetings separately with the two Lieutenant Generals.

According to sources, matters relating to the security of the country and professional affairs were also discussed in the meetings.

PROFILES

Lieutenant General Raheel Sharif

Lt General Raheel Sharif was born in Quetta on 16 June, 1956 to Major and Mrs Muhammad Sharif. He is the younger brother of Major Shabir Sharif Hilal-i-Imtiaz, SJ and Captain Mumtaz Sharif, Sbt.

Lt General Sharif is an alumnus of Government College Lahore and Pakistan Military Academy from where he passed out with 54th PMA Long Course. He was commissioned in October 1976 in the battle hardened and renowned 6th Battalion, The Frontier Force Regiment in which his brother embraced martyrdom.

As a young officer, he performed his duties in Gilgit in an Infantry Brigade and also served as Adjutant of Pakistan Military Academy. He did Company Commander’s Course from Germany and subsequently served in the prestigious School of Infantry and Tactics as an instructor. He attended the Command and Staff College Canada graduating with distinction.

Lt General Sharif carriers with him a vast experience of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. He served as the Brigade Major of an Infantry Brigade and has commanded two infantry units i.e. 6 Frontier Force Regiment at Kashmir along the Line of Control (LoC) and 26 Frontier Force Regiment along the Sialkot Border. He remained on the faculty of the Command and Staff College, Quetta and attended Armed Forces War Course at National Defence University, Islamabad in 1998.

As a Brigadier, he has commanded two Infantry Brigades, including an Independent Infantry Brigade Group. The Lt. General has had the honour of being the Chief of Staff of two Corps, i.e. 30 Corps and 12 Corps. He is also a graduate of the prestigious Royal College of Defence Studies, United Kingdom.

Lt General Sharif has been the General Officer Commanding of an Infantry Division and the Commandant of prestigious Pakistan Military Academy. As a Lt General he served as Corps Commander 30 Corps for two years before taking over as Inspector General Training and Evaluation in which capacity he oversaw the training of Pakistan Army.

Lt General Sharif is married and has two sons and a daughter. He is an avid reader and enjoys hunting and swimming. He has been conferred with Hilal-i-Imtiaz.

Lieutenant General Rashad Mehmood

Lieutenant General Rashad Mahmood was commissioned in May 1975 in Baloch Regiment. He has attended Company Commander Course from France and is a graduate of Commmad & Staff College, Canada and National Defence College, Islamabad.

The General Officer has varied experience of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. His major appointments include Platoon Commander, Pakistan Military Academy, Brigade Major Infantry Brigade, Instructor at Command & Staff College and National Defence College. He has remained Chief of Staff Bahawalpur Corps and Military Secretary to the President Rafiq Tarar.

The General Officer has commanded two Infantry Battalions, two Infantry Brigades and United Nations contingent at Congo, Infantry Division at Jhelum, Director General at Inter Services Intelligence Directorate, Islamabad and Commander Lahore Corps. After commanding the Corps, he took over as Chief of General Staff in January, 2013. The General Officer has been conferred with Hilal-i-Imtiaz.

Editorial Note
Profiles of Lt Generals Raheel Sharif and Rashad Mehmood were obtained from ISPR.

Lt Gen Raheel appointed as new COAS, Lt Gen Rashad as CJCSC - thenews.com.pk (http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-128049-Lt-Gen-Raheel-appointed-as-new-COAS,-Lt-Gen-Rashad-as-CJCSC)

Agnostic Muslim
27 Nov 13,, 13:13
Some reports indicate that Gen Raheel Sharif has had significant influence in bringing about changes to infantry training/doctrine related to COIN operations. While far from perfect, the PA has witnessed a significant reduction in casualties in the last few years, compared to 2007 through 2010. Hopefully that trend will continue, and Sharif can leverage his position to cement acquisition of MRAP's and increased deployment of air assets for CAS in the tribal areas and Balochistan.

Defcon5
27 Nov 13,, 13:17
Some reports indicate that Gen Raheel Sharif has had significant influence in bringing about changes to infantry training/doctrine related to COIN operations. While far from perfect, the PA has witnessed a significant reduction in casualties in the last few years, compared to 2007 through 2010. Hopefully that trend will continue, and Sharif can leverage his position to cement acquisition of MRAP's and increased deployment of air assets for CAS in the tribal areas and Balochistan.

That happens when you dont fight the enemy as well as use aerial bombardment

Agnostic Muslim
27 Nov 13,, 13:24
That happens when you dont fight the enemy as well as use aerial bombardment
What happens?

Doktor
27 Nov 13,, 13:35
What happens?

I guess lowering the casualties...

@NE,
The 1st post is kind of misleading on the start and I didn't put the effort to finish it:cool:


ISLAMABAD: After weeks of intense speculation in the media, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has finally made the selection of two senior army officers as Chief of Army Staff and Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee.

Agnostic Muslim
27 Nov 13,, 15:32
... Raheel Sharif considers the militant threat inside Pakistan as important as the strategic tussle with India, a retired senior army officer who Sharif has served under told Reuters.

"Sharif has played a big role in convincing the army that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and assorted militants inside Pakistan are as big a threat (as India)," the officer said.

The TTP, or Pakistani Taliban, is a group of Islamist militants based in the country's lawless Pashtun tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan.

Sharif, 57, received his military commission in 1976 and studied military leadership in Germany, Canada and Britain. He commanded several infantry units, including the Sixth Frontier Force Regiment along the disputed Line Of Control in Kashmir.

Perhaps his most important contribution has been his role in the reshaping the country's strategic policy.

In 2007, the military undertook an ambitious program of re-thinking its strategic doctrine, following the appointment of Kayani as army chief.

The new approach was seen as a move away from a focus on the rivalry with India to a more nuanced policy which considered the internal threat from militants equally as pressing.

Sharif was one of the architects of the new doctrine, army insiders say.
http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/11/27/world/asia/27reuters-pakistan-army.html?hp&_r=1&

Oracle
27 Nov 13,, 16:14
Wah! Blah! Blah! And more blah!

34466

And more ...

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What does Martial Stock mean anyway? A super form of life, from Mars that Pakistanis are blessed with.

I am LMAO!!!

Agnostic Muslim
27 Nov 13,, 16:31
What does Martial Stock mean anyway? A super form of life, from Mars that Pakistanis are blessed with.


It refers to his family's 'military lineage' - Father was a major, brother was a martyr and recipient of the highest Pakistani military award etc.

That said, ISPR needs to put someone with a better command over contemporary English in charge of drafting press releases.

Oracle
27 Nov 13,, 16:44
It refers to his family's 'military lineage' - Father was a major, brother was a martyr and recipient of the highest Pakistani military award etc.

That said, ISPR needs to put someone with a better command over contemporary English in charge of drafting press releases.

Contemporary English you say? LMAO!!!

You do know the outcome of the military wars Pakistan has fought since it's independence? Been tragic.

xinhui
27 Nov 13,, 18:25
Contemporary English you say? LMAO!!!

You do know the outcome of the military wars Pakistan has fought since it's independence? Been tragic.

Guys, cool with personal attacks.

Oracle
28 Nov 13,, 16:49
Guys, cool with personal attacks.

My bad, Sir. That was not my intention.

I was merely pointing out the lies and the fabricated truth which is being fed to ordinary Pakistanis for decades. One reason why Pakistan lack a seat in the round-table of responsible nations. And AM justified it with poor English skills. :rolleyes:

notorious_eagle
29 Nov 13,, 00:37
Some reports indicate that Gen Raheel Sharif has had significant influence in bringing about changes to infantry training/doctrine related to COIN operations. While far from perfect, the PA has witnessed a significant reduction in casualties in the last few years, compared to 2007 through 2010. Hopefully that trend will continue, and Sharif can leverage his position to cement acquisition of MRAP's and increased deployment of air assets for CAS in the tribal areas and Balochistan.

That is correct, the Army had to completely retrain itself in regards to COIN Doctrine. Lt Gen Sharif was one of the architects in designing the curriculum for COIN operations. He is also one of the architects of the new doctrine PA is implementing to became a fully network centric force capable of operating with PAF in tandem, establishing the concept of 'Joint Warfare'. This has been perfectly demonstrated by PA during these recent war games where all the assets of PA and PAF were synched together through a Joint C&C, C4I system is fully functional now.

I would have personally liked to see either Lt Gen Tariq Khan or Lt Gen Haroon Aslam as COAS and Admiral Sandhila as the CJCSC, but thats my personal opinion. But as i said before, all five of the short listed candidates are exceptional officers and i have no qualms with any of them making it to 4 star.

Officer of Engineers
29 Nov 13,, 01:09
This has been perfectly demonstrated by PA during these recent war games where all the assets of PA and PAF were synched together through a Joint C&C, C4I system is fully functional now.Yeah, my civies believed that propaganda too.

Agnostic Muslim
29 Nov 13,, 13:46
I was merely pointing out the lies and the fabricated truth which is being fed to ordinary Pakistanis for decades. One reason why Pakistan lack a seat in the round-table of responsible nations. And AM justified it with poor English skills. :rolleyes:
A comparison of the two press releases issued by the ISPR, providing the 'bio-data' for Generals Rashad Mahmood and Raheel Sharif, validates my interpretation of the phrase 'martial stock':


BIO DATA

LIEUTENANT GENERAL RASHAD MAHMOOD

Lieutenant General Rashad Mahmood, HI (M) was commissioned in May 1975 in Baloch Regiment. He has attended Company Commander Course from France and is a graduate of Command & Staff College Canada, National Defence College, Islamabad. The General Officer has varied experience of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. His major appointments include Platoon Commander, Pakistan Military Academy, Brigade Major Infantry Brigade, Instructor at Command & Staff College and National Defence College. He has remained Chief of Staff Bahawalpur Corps and Military Secretary to the President. The General Officer has commanded two Infantry Battalions, two Infantry Brigades and United Nations contingent at Congo, Infantry Division at Jhelum, Director General at Inter Service Intelligence Directorate, Islamabad and Commander Lahore Corps. After commanding the Corps, he took over as Chief of General Staff in January 2013. The General Officer has been conferred with Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military).



BIO DATA

Lieutenant General Raheel Sharif, Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military) hails from a martial stock. He was born in Quetta on 16 June 1956 to Major and Mrs Muhammad Sharif. He is younger brother of Major Shabir Sharif, NH, SJ and Capt Mumtaz Sharif, Sbt. He is an alumnus of Govt College Lahore, and Pakistan Military Academy from where he passed out with 54th PMA Long Course. He was commissioned in Oct 1976 in the battle hardened and renowned 6th Battalion The Frontier Force Regiment in which his elder brother had embraced Shahadat.

As a Young Officer, he performed his duties in Gilgit in an Infantry Brigade and also served as Adjutant of Pakistan Military Academy. He did Company Commander's Course from Germany and subsequently served in the prestigious School of Infantry and Tactics as an instructor. He attended the Command and Staff College Canada, graduating with distinction.

The officer carries with him a vast experience of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. He served as the Brigade Major of an Infantry Brigade and has commanded two infantry units i.e 6 Frontier Force Regiment at Kashmir along LOC and 26 Frontier Force Regiment along the Sialkot Border. He remained on the faculty of the Command and Staff College, Quetta and attended Armed Forces War Course at National Defence University, Islamabad in 1998. As a Brigadier, he has commanded two Infantry Brigades, including an Independent Infantry Brigade Group. The General has had the honor of being the Chief of Staff of two Corps, i.e 30 Corps and 12 Corps. He is also a graduate of the prestigious Royal College of Defence Studies, United Kingdom.

He has been the General Officer Commanding of an Infantry Division and the Commandant of prestigious Pakistan Military Academy. As a Lieutenant General he served as Corps Commander 30 Corps for two years before taking over as Inspector General Training and Evaluation in which capacity he oversaw the training of Pakistan Army. His stewardship resulted in fructification of Pakistan Army's operational thought and doctrinal response to the much vaunted Cold Start doctrine of Indian Army. The general is married and has two sons and a daughter. He is an avid reader and enjoys hunting and swimming.
Welcome to ISPR (http://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&date=2013/11/27)
Note the complete absence of the phrase 'martial stock' from the ISPR Press Release providing the bio-data of General Rashad Mahmood. If, as you insist on claiming, the intention behind using the phrase 'Martial Stock' was to imply that 'Pakistanis or Pakistani soldiers' were a 'martial race', then the phrase would have also been used in General Rashad Mahmood's press-release, as well as in past press-releases providing biodata for military officials.

Agnostic Muslim
29 Nov 13,, 13:55
Yeah, my civies believed that propaganda too.
Why did you find it so hard to demonstrate an acceptable degree of functionality of a C4I system in a pre-planned, prepared and controlled environment like a military exercise? Was this back when 'punch-cards' were used to enter data in computer systems? :D

Deltacamelately
30 Nov 13,, 09:44
Why did you find it so hard to demonstrate an acceptable degree of functionality of a C4I system in a pre-planned, prepared and controlled environment like a military exercise? Was this back when 'punch-cards' were used to enter data in computer systems? :D

Originally Posted by notorious_eagle
This has been perfectly demonstrated by PA during these recent war games where all the assets of PA and PAF were synched together through a Joint C&C, C4I system is fully functional now.
Not when such claims are made so effortlesly. ;)

notorious_eagle
30 Nov 13,, 13:52
Not when such claims are made so effortlesly. ;)

Sir

I thought it was open secret that PA and PAF had achieved this capability. They wouldn't procure billions of dollars worth of Early Warning Systems, without a fully a functioning C4I to fully exploit these systems. I guess Pakistan can be thankful to the US because senior PA Officers were very impressed with this capability during their course of training in the US. Here's a very nice insight from Brig(r) Tughrai Yamin in regards to war games performed in 2011, where every key asset of PAF and PA were linked together:

""One idea that was tested during the exercise was the applicability of the network-centric approach in the joint Army and Air force operations. The network-centric as opposed to platform-centric operation aims to connect all sensors to with the shooter thus reducing his OODA (Orient, Observe, Decide, and Act) loop. Network-centricity provides a Common Operating Picture (COP) to all stakeholders and facilitates its decision making process. If indeed the Indians are planning to animate a Cold Start type scenario, a net-enabled force would be able to react in a timely manner by launching appropriate responses to reduce or eliminate any advantages that might be sought through reducing the time of operations. All three services of the Armed Forces are rapidly transforming into a network enabled force. Ex Azm-e-Nau III was the battle lab to test a number of ideas and concepts to counter the so called Cold Start offensive doctrine. Network centric operation was one concept, which emerged as a doable enterprise. It reduced the fog of war by allowing all tiers of the command from the highest to lowest field commander to look into the evolving battle picture through across the board connectivity using all means of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets i.e. UAVs, aerial imagery and early warning (EW). The real time availability of information not only reduced the chance of surprise through any proactive maneuvers, it also enhanced the decision making capability of commanders at all levels."

ISPR PUBLICATIONS - HILAL MAGZINE (http://www.pakistanarmy.gov.pk/awpreview/textcontent.aspx?pid=382)

From the book "Pakistan Air force; A new dawn"

"In April 2001 ..the then CAS, the late Mushaf Ali Mir, started the indigenous upgrade of the PAF's air defense system known as special project 1. Until then it had compromised of an automated network of Siemens Low level air control systems(SILLACS) and Hughes Sector operational Control/Operational control centre(SOC/OCC) Systems.
The late Air Cdre Hamid Shigri was designated as the chief project director (CPD); but was sadly killed in a road accident in 2006. Under his direction, an indigenous solution was developed to replace and upgrade the PAF's ageing C4I network, which was eventually achieved by using commercial off the shelf (COTS) technologies,...
....The first prototype mission control center was handed over in January 2003 and pronounced ready for operation by ACM Mushaf .....The onset of network centricity led to the evolution of the General Mission control centres(GMCCs).."

I would humbly suggest to look at the pictures and videos of Azm e Nau IV to get a feeling of what i am talking about.

Here's a picture of one of the C&C Sectors of PAF.

34500

These IBMS are installed on Armoured and Mechanized Units.

34501

Officer of Engineers
30 Nov 13,, 13:55
How often do your officer ranked pilots take orders from army corporals? Or worst, insults from the corporal telling the pilot that he can't worth crap?

Agnostic Muslim
02 Dec 13,, 13:55
How often do your officer ranked pilots take orders from army corporals? Or worst, insults from the corporal telling the pilot that he can't worth crap?
Isn't your comment here more about the specifics of how a particular military structures its C4I systems to perform? What I mean by that is that without knowing the specific metrics that the Pakistani military (or any military) uses to measure functionality, we can't really determine how successful that military has been at implementing C4I (as defined by that military). Or, are you arguing that the example you gave above is a general representation of a 'universally accepted' level of 'devolution' that needs to be met in order for a C4I system to be considered 'functional'?

Personally, I agree with you on what a final 'military wide integrated C4I' system should look like, with (using the case you presented for instance) the soldiers on the ground (whose lives depend on the officer ranked pilots delivering their payloads on time and on target) directing/controlling CAS. But what I don't know is whether the Pakistani Military has even considered devolution of authority, based on specific mission parameters, across service arms, and if it has, whether or not it plans on implementing it.

Firestorm
02 Dec 13,, 20:46
Opinion piece on Gen. Raheel Sharif by the Indian Lt.Gen.(retd) Syed Ata Hasnain, former General Officer Commanding of the XV Corps based in Srinagar.

The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Opinions (http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20131201/edit.htm#1)



Gen Sharif’s earned his stripes, spots yet to show
The most important question is how new Pak army chief General Raheel Sharif will view the J&K dynamics. However, a reversal of policy is least likely, especially when there is a change of command.
Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (retd)

Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (retd)General Raheel Sharif, as a protégé of Gen Parvez Musharraf, has a military pedigree many soldiers would envy. As a fellow of the prestigious Royal College of Defence Studies, London, he is in the exalted company of his mentor.

Media reports ascribe to him the thinking behind Pakistan’s doctrinal aspects of countering India’s pro-active strategy. While being a great professional citation, this is hardly likely even if he is considered an expert at defensive, and not offensive, warfare because Pakistan’s reaction of moving some of its formations to strategically more viable locations was thought through well before General Sharif rose to the level of a Corps Commander (30 Corps, Gujranwala).

Hamid Hussain’s assessment that General Sharif “is probably not suited to lead an army engaged in a war” needs to be evaluated more comprehensively. Study of history belies the assumption that the body language of senior military leaders and their appearance can lead to definitive deductions about their military intellect, translation into ground execution and leadership skills under duress and stress.

Of Pakistan’s senior leadership it can authoritatively be said that it is outstandingly wily and innovative at ‘conflict initiation’ but astonishingly unprofessional at taking the intent and aim to its military conclusion as part of ‘conflict termination’. This has been borne out in the 1965 Indo-Pak conflict, the actions in East Pakistan in 1971, in the operational content of Exercise Zarb-e-Momin in 1990, the Kargil misadventure in 1999 and in the recent exchanges on the LoC in Poonch, Mendhar and Keran.

None of these events led to any positive gains for Pakistan. In fact, the only decision which led to a possibly positive outcome was President Musharraf’s mutual initiative with the India to bring about ceasefire on the LoC on November 26, 2003, a decision which had far-reaching implications for both armies. Will General Sharif show similar cerebral capability and ‘soft’ approach towards the LoC to enable the task at hand on the more difficult western and internal security fronts, which are wrenching Pakistan apart? In fact, the most important question is how General Sharif will view the Jammu & Kashmir dynamics.

Will it be bravado at the LoC to display an offensive personality in charge? The negative spinoff of any such machismo will be an immediate effect on Nawaz Sharif’s declared intent of treading the peace path with India. Secondly, Pakistan’s current penchant with filling the Valley and Jammu region with infiltrated terrorists to retain options in calibrating the proxy war may well tempt General Sharif to project an offensive character. A reversal of policy is least likely especially when there is a change of command.

With Pakistan’s supposed perception that nothing major is likely on the diplomatic front over the next six months the situation points towards Mr Sharif giving his new army chief time and space to settle, even at the cost of a few flare-ups on the LoC. Although Mr Sharif has had negative experience with his chiefs, it is unlikely he will sully the internal military reputation of the new chief by placing unreasonable controls on him. We are therefore unlikely to see any major change in the policy on Jammu and Kashmir; only time and our response at the LoC will dictate which way the situation will head.

The Indian establishment needs to ensure that traditional assumptions of winter being a period of stability on the LoC are put at rest. The Pakistan defence establishment has been known for its innovations in conflict initiation. Whatever the personality of General Sharif, the dynamics of 2014 will force him to be aggressive on Kashmir. He may be forced by the hardliners to aid and abet the current Kashmir policy.

Some would expect that a personal loss in the form of his elder brother in a battle with the Indian Army in 1971 may have created in General Sharif a latent antipathy against India and this would be an opportunity for revenge. His credentials do not appear to suggest that. General Sharif is likely to think through any initiative.

The label of being less offensive possibly appears due to his track record of appointments and being an Infantryman. Flamboyant commanders are presumed to be black uniformed (Armoured Corps or Special Forces) with a record of commanding units and formations aggressively on the LoC, which General Sharif lacks. Possibly, PM Nawaz Sharif was advised on this and he deliberately chose to have a stable conformist. Infantrymen may not carry flamboyance, but it needs to be remembered that aggression comes naturally to them. On the Indian side the majority of iconic military leaders, Cariappa, Manekshaw and Aurora were all Infantrymen.

Predicting anything about Pakistan is fraught with danger, most of all the panning of personality of its military leaders. However, on balance, General Sharif’s tenure needs to lend stability in the approaching difficult and challenging years of the security scenario in the sub-continent. His politico-military compulsions of keeping J&K on the simmer (not boil) have to be assessed. He is unlikely to kowtow with radical elements beyond current levels knowing that tactical gains will not translate into strategic victory. Lastly, the Indian establishment needs to carefully evaluate whether General Sharif is the man to trust. In short, it is a situation where there are shades and shades of grey in which a black and white mind would only spell paralysis.

The writer is a Fellow of the Royal College of Defence Studies, London, and former General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps