ISLAMABAD – Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan has expressed reservations over the issuance of No Objection Certificate (NOC) by the Pakistani government for appointing former army chief General (retd) Raheel Sharif as the head of the Saudi-led military alliance, according to a report by IRNA.
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Mehdi Honardoost said, “It was correct that Pakistan had contacted Iranian officials before issuing the NOC, but it did not indicate that Iran was satisfied with this decision or it had accepted the same,” stated a press release issued by the Iran`s official news outlet, Islamic Republic News Agency.
He further said: “All important Islamic countries should come together to form a coalition of peace to resolve their issues rather forming a controversial military alliance.”
“We are concerned about this issue… that it may impact the unity of Islamic countries,” Honardoost said. “But that does not indicate that Iran is satisfied with this decision or it has accepted the same.”
He said Tehran had informed Islamabad that Iran would not become part of such a military alliance, adding that Iran had also not been extended an offer to join a coalition of this sort.
He proposed that all important Islamic countries come together to form a “coalition of peace” in order to resolve their issues “rather [than] forming a controversial military alliance”.
The Pakistani government had issued an NOC for Sharif to join the alliance after an understanding was reached between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on the matter, retired Maj Gen Ijaz Awan, a defence analyst and close associate of the former army chief, said.