Raheel Sharif appointed chief of Islamic military alliance

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Islamabad, Jan 7 (IANS) Pakistan on Friday confirmed that former army chief General Raheel Sharif (retd) was made the chief of the 39-nation Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism.

Speaking during a talk show on Geo TV, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif admitted that an agreement in this regard was finalised a few days back. However, the defence minister said he did not have much information at the moment about the agreement.

The defence minister said that any such assignment or posting requires proper clearance from both the government and General Headquarters and confirmed that due process was followed before finalising the agreement.

“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 the formation of such an alliance was a good step as the “Muslim Ummah is in a spot of bother right now and needs unity among its ranks”.

Pakistan had initially found itself in the crosshairs of Middle Eastern politics as Saudi Arabia named it as part of its newly formed military alliance of Muslim countries meant to combat terrorism, without first getting its consent.

However, after initial ambiguity, the government had confirmed its participation in the alliance, but had said that the scope of its participation would be defined after Riyadh shared the details of the coalition it was assembling.

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