The new army chief, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, will take over as COAS on Tuesday.
Lt.Gen. Bajwa has extensive experience of handling affairs in Kashmir and the northern areas of the country. The military's heightened standing under the general, he said, has been "a result of the military dedicating itself to what Pakistanis expect from their military: to fight off enemies, domestic and foreign". Pakistan became independent in 1947 when Britain gave independence to Pakistan and India, although the military has ruled this Islamic nation for almost half of the time since then.
Sharif and Hussain lauded Raheel's valuable service as army chief and wished him the best for his post-retirement life, Radio Pakistan reported.
But there is no sign of a course correction from military headquarters in Rawalpindi, and Monday's announcement that Sharif had begun a farewell tour scotched speculation he would extend his three-year tenure, as previous military chiefs have done. "These convictions of the army chief-designate must have leant heavily on the mind of PM Sharif as he made the crucial appointment", The Nation wrote.
"The long drawn-out controversy over his succession is a natural outcome of Pakistan's complicated civil-military history", said Mosharraf Zaidi, a columnist for The News, an English-language newspaper.
General Sharif has all along been supportive of the government, except for a statement at the corps commanders' conference last November when he expressed reservations over civilian administration's governance.More news: Iron Bowl features two top defenses, not one
"General Bajwa, whom I have met a few times, is someone who will not interfere a lot in the civilian government matters", Lieutenant-General (retd) Talat Masood, a defence analyst, told Al Jazeera. Prime Minister will make the final choice. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also convened a high-level meeting to review the situation at the Line of Control, as Pakistan's Air Chief of Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman and Naval Chief Admiral Zakaullah joined in hitting out at India. He was also hot on social media.
The change of command ceremony was attended by federal ministers, services chiefs, diplomats and senior serving and retired officers.
But he is experienced, having held senior command positions in the country's mountainous north, including the contested region of Kashmir.
Despite the improvements Mr Sharif brought about in national security, General Bajwa is expected to face serious challenges. Pakistan's future rests on it. Democracy is still in a nascent state in Pakistan, only three years old. Islamabad has denied all such charges.
He was the Brigade Major of an Infantry Brigade and Chief of Staff of Rawalpindi Corps.