Pakistan

LONDON – Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor has pointed out that the appointment of former army chief General (retd) Raheel Sharif as head of the Saudi-led Islamic military alliance is a decision of the state, reported Dawn news.

General Asif Ghafoor was giving briefing to media in London during Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tour to Britain.

He highlighted that Pakistan wants a better relationship with Iran and Saudi Arabia, as it did not believe in proxy wars.

Pakistan also wants to have better relations with India and Afghanistan in order avoid regional tension, the DG said.

On March 24, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif had said that Pakistan government has formally permitted ex-army chief Gen Raheel Sharif to lead Saudi military alliance to fight militancy.

Sharing the details, the defence minister said that Saudi government had sought a written permission from Pakistan which we have given. “It is a matter between the two governments and not an individual affair”, Khawaja added.

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Sudan, Malaysia, Egypt, Yemen and other countries are said to be part of the 39 nations colition of Muslim countries.

Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan had also 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.