Former chief of army staff (COAS) General (retd) Raheel Sharif has been appointed chief of Islamic military alliance and posted in Saudi Arabia, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif confirmed on Friday.
Speaking in Geo TV’s programme ‘Naya Pakistan’, the defence minister admitted that an agreement had been finalised a few days back, but refused to give any further information in this regard.
The minister said Gen (retd) Raheel, who retired in November 2016, was posted after clearance from the army’s General Headquarters and in accordance with the government’s will. “This thing was in the pipeline for quite some time and the prime minister was also part of the deliberations,” Asif said.
In 2015, Saudi Arabia had announced the formation of a 34-state Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism and Pakistan was made a member of the coalition. Riyadh and its Gulf Arab neighbours have been locked in months of warfare with Iran-allied rebels in neighbouring Yemen, launching hundreds of air strikes there.
Global terrorist outfit Islamic State has pledged to overthrow the monarchies of the Gulf and have mounted a series of attacks on Shia Muslim mosques and security forces in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Watch the programme here: