Gen (r) Raheel Sharif leads IMCTC delegation on first visit to Pakistan

10:30 AM | 11 Feb, 2019
Gen (r) Raheel Sharif leads IMCTC delegation on first visit to Pakistan
ISLAMABAD – A delegation of former army chief Gen (r) Raheel Sharif-led Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) is in Pakistan on their first-ever visit to the country.

A special aircraft carrying the delegation, headed by its Commander General (r) Raheel Sharif, arrived at Islamabad’s Nur Khan air base. They will hold meetings with civil and military leaders during its two-day visit.

Sharif, who served as the former army chief of Pakistan, will also hold a special meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan.

They are expected to discuss the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, who will be arriving in the South Asian country on the invitation of the government’s invitation on February 17. The visit is expected to strengthen ties between the two countries.

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Pakistan is likely to sign a number of investment deals, including the construction of a multi-billion-dollar oil refinery in the port city of Gwadar during the upcoming visit. The Saudi crown prince will follow-up on agreements signed between the two countries during Prime Minister Imran’s visit to the KSA last year.

Saudi Arabia agreed to provide $6 billion package to Pakistan following the second visit of the prime minister.

The military officials are expected to meet Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi besides Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat.

The delegation will return to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

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The 41-nation alliance was announced in December 2015. Pakistan was part of the initial list of 34 countries that had agreed to become part of the coalition.

Saudi Arabia had acquired the services of Gen (r) Raheel as head of the IMCTC cobbled together in December 2015.

According to IMCTC, the former chief "presents the Military Domain, which aims to assist in the coordination, of resourcing and planning of military CT operations, facilitate the secure sharing of information, and encourage military CT capacity and capability building."

In December 2018, Gen (r) Raheel had dismissed the notion that the military coalition was aimed against any particular country, nation or sect without any mentions.

Core areas that the IMCTC seeks to address have been identified as ideology, communications, counter terrorist financing and military.