ISLAMABAD – On Monday National Security Adviser Nasser Janjua called the appointment of the ex-army chief, retired General Raheel Sharif as the head of a Saudi-led 39-nation Islamic military alliance a step towards the unity of Muslim world.

According to Dawn news, he was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a one-day conference on security challenges in the Indian ocean for Pakistan in Islamabad.

It quoted Janjua saying as “Gen Raheel Sharif will utilise his experiences and knowledge to eliminate internal misunderstandings among Muslim countries. adding that the former army chief’s appointment will even benefit “anti-alliance countries, including Iran.”

Gen Sharif is likely to assume command of the anti-terrorism alliance, which is being called a ‘Muslim Nato’, in April.

In the previous week, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif had said that Pakistan government had formally permitted ex-army chief Gen Raheel Sharif to lead Saudi military alliance to fight militancy.

While speaking at the conference, he said that it had become essential for countries to secure sea routes after 9/11 attack.

He highlighted that the United States and India have become major strategic partners in the region, as 300,000 military personnel from the United States are currently stationed in the Indian ocean apart from Indian forces.