Former Pakistan army chief Raheel Sharif leaves for Saudi Arabia to lead Islamic military alliance against terrorism

MAMOSA Report — Former Pakistan army chief Gen Raheel Sharif has left for Saudi Arabia to head a 41-nation military alliance, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said on Friday.

Soon after receiving the No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the government and approval from the Army’s General Headquarters (GHQ), General Sharif left for capital Riyadh in a special aircraft sent by the Saudi government to receive him, according to local media reports.

Gen Sharif was accompanied by his wife and mother on the flight, reported Geo News.

The former chief of army staff was granted approval to serve as head of the alliance for three years, media reports said.

Earlier this month, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua made it clear that the Saudi-led 41-nation Islamic military alliance is against terrorism and not against any country.

She assured that Pakistan is committed to its policy of non-interference in the conflicts of Muslim countries.

The formation of an alliance of Muslim-majority countries – which now numbers 41 – was announced by the Saudi defense minister, deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman in December 2015.

The coalition would be based in Riyadh to “coordinate and support military operations” against terrorism. The states it listed as joining the new coalition included Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan,  Bangladesh and several African nations.

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