Gen Sharif valued partner against terrorism: US

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The United States sees outgoing Pakistan Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif as a valued and respected partner in the war against terrorism, a US official said on Tuesday.

Asked to comment on media reports that the general was stepping down as the army chief, a US State Department spokesperson said that any transition in the Pakistan Army was an internal matter of the country and it was only appropriate that any statement regarding this change should come from its government.

"We have seen the reports about the chief of army staff transition. This is an internal Pakistani matter, and I would direct you to the government of Pakistan for any further information," Dawn quoted the spokesperson as saying.

The department also shared a statement issued by the US embassy in Islamabad, saying: "We have seen the statements from ISPR announcing that Gen Raheel Sharif is stepping down as Chief of Army Staff at the end of his three-year term."

The announcement noticed that Gen Sharif was "an esteemed and regarded accomplice in the local battle against fear based oppression during his time as armed force boss". "We salute him and his family and wish them well," it included. 

Gen Sharif held two gatherings with US Secretary of State John Kerry amid his visits to Washington in 2014 and 2015.