Asia

Pakistani army chief Gen Raheel starts farewell visits

In this Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016 photo, Pakistan army chief General. Raheel Sharif salutes during a military exercise in Khairpur Tamiwali, Pakistan. Pakistani army says on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016 its chief Sharif has started his farewell visits a week before his due retirement. Pakistani army's spokesman Lt. Gen. Asim Bajwa's Monday announcement has faded away debates about a possible extension in the three year term of the army chief, who is due to retire on Nov 29. (AP Photo/Muhammad Yousuf)

In this Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016 photo, Pakistan army chief General. Raheel Sharif salutes during a military exercise in Khairpur Tamiwali, Pakistan. Pakistani army says on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016 its chief Sharif has started his farewell visits a week before his due retirement. Pakistani army's spokesman Lt. Gen. Asim Bajwa's Monday announcement has faded away debates about a possible extension in the three year term of the army chief, who is due to retire on Nov 29. (AP Photo/Muhammad Yousuf)  (The Associated Press)

Pakistan's army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif has started his farewell visits a week before his scheduled retirement.

An army spokesman confirmed Monday that Sharif would retire Nov. 29 at the end of his three-year term limit, ending public speculation that he would seek an extension.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (no relation) will choose Raheel Sharif's successor from a list of four or five senior officers.

Pakistan's army has ruled the country for most if its history since gaining independence from Britain in 1947. The country is now ruled by elected civilian leadership, but the military remains an influential presence.

Recent months have seen signs of public tension between civilian and military leadership over foreign policy and security issues.