ISLAMABAD: Former army chief General (retd) Raheel Sharif has been appointed as head of a 39-nation Islamic military coalition formed to combat terrorism, confirmed Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Friday.
Khawaja Asif made the revelation during a TV talk show.
He said that a formal agreement in this regard was finalised a few days back, but he refused to divulge on details.
The federal minister further said that the government was also taken into confidence prior to the appointment as per the rules.
The defence minister said that any such assignment or posting requires proper clearance from the government and General Headquarters (GHQ) both and confirmed that the due process was followed before finalising the agreement. He was, however, unaware of the exact details.
“As you are aware that this thing was in the pipeline for quite some time and the prime minister was also part of the deliberations,” Asif said.
He was of the opinion that formation of such an alliance is a good step, as the “Muslim Ummah is in a spot of bother right now and needs unity among its ranks”.
The headquarters of the new Saudi-led coalition would be based in Riyadh.
After initial reluctance, Pakistani government confirmed its participation in the newly formed military alliance of Muslim countries.
The scope of Pakistan’s role in the alliance would be defined after Riyadh shared the details of the coalition, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi had told media persons.
Iran, Saudi Arabia’s archrival, is absent from the states named as participants. – SAMAA
Story first published: 6th January 2017