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New Pakistan army chief takes command

General Raheel Sharif on Friday formally took over as the head of Pakistan's army, the most powerful position in the troubled military-dominated nation which is battling a homegrown Taliban insurgency. Sharif, named chief of the army staff on Wednesday, took charge from predecessor General Ashfaq Kayani at a ceremony at military headquarters in Rawalpindi. He takes over as head of the nuclear-armed state's 600,000-strong army with a daunting array of challenges ahead of him.

Guessing game as Pakistan's powerful army chief prepares to retire

By Mehreen Zahra-Malik and Maria Golovnina ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - In a nation long plagued by military coups, the question of who will replace Pakistan's all-powerful army chief has taken on new urgency this year as the country tries to shake off the legacy of decades of military dictatorship. General Ashfaq Kayani, arguably the most powerful man in the nuclear-armed country, is expected to step down after six years in November - presenting Pakistan's new premier with the toughest of choices yet since coming to power in May.
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