ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General (retd) Raheel Sharif on Friday left for Saudi Arabia to head a 39-nation military alliance formed against terrorism.
Sources said that a Special Plane had been sent by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to take Raheel Sharif who, then, left Lahore for Riyadh along with his wife and mother.
Meanwhile talking to a private news channel, the Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said that a No Objection Certificate (NOC) had been issued to the former army chief by the federal government to head the Saudi-led military alliance of Muslim Countries following the approval of army’s general headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.
Khawaja Asif told that Raheel Sharif had been permitted to head the alliance after completion of all legal formalities and requirements.
The Islamic Republic of Iran had not only termed the Saudi-led alliance ‘ridiculous’ but the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost had expressed reservations over the appointment of General (retd) Raheel Sharif as head of the Saudi-led military alliance.
However, Pakistan maintained that Saudi alliance was not against any Country; rather, it would bring the Muslim Countries together against the menace of terrorism.
Earlier on April 19, in a meeting with the Iranian envoy to Pakistan at the GHQ in Rawalpindi, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa said that Pakistan greatly valued its historic relationship with Iran.
The COAS had said that Pakistan-Iran relationship would continue to be based on mutual trust and respect for each other’s interests.