Pakistani general’s exit may be good for democracy — but bad for stability


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The most powerful and popular man in Pakistan, Gen. Raheel Sharif, announced Monday that he will step down as army chief when his term expires in November, a positive step for the country’s historically unstable democracy but one that creates new uncertainty about the battle against Islamist militants.

Sharif, who pushed the country onto a war footing against the Pakistani Taliban and is credited for a steep decline in terrorist attacks, made his announcement on Twitter. “I don’t believe in extensions and will retire on due date,” Sharif said through his chief spokesman, Lt. Gen. Asim Bajwa. He added that the fight against “terrorism will continue with full vigor and resolve.”