I think you are asking the wrong question. The real question is not whether Raheel Shareef will get an extension, but will he give an extension to the other [Nawaz] Sharif.
However, on a more serious note, it is only in Pakistan that the extension of the army chief becomes such a big issue. In a stronger democratic dispensation, the retirement (or not) of an army chief would be a routine matter that would not garner any attention. This is how it should be treated in Pakistan, too.
No one can deny that Raheel Shareef proved to be an extremely competent army chief, but this does not mean that Pakistan Army is devoid of other generals who can do an equally good job. The strength of an institution lies in the smooth manner in which succession takes place. The army as well as those discussing Shareef’s impending retirement should remember that.
In fact, we all need to remember Charles De Gaulle’s words that the “graveyards are full of indispensable men” and focus on the importance of institutions.
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