Raheel Sharif did not seek govt approval to join Saudi alliance: Asif

Raheel Sharif did not seek govt approval to join Saudi alliance Asif

In a shift from his earlier statement, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Wednesday said former army chief General (retd) Raheel Sharif did not seek government’s permission before joining the Saudi led military alliance.

“Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif did not submit any application for a no objection certificate (NOC). There’s nothing in our notice,” the defence minister said in response to Senate chairman Raza Rabbani’s query.

If the former COAS applies for the NOC, then it will be decided according to law, said Asif, adding Gen (retd) Raheel had returned to the country after performing Umrah.

Gen Raheel to head Saudi-led anti-terror force: Khawaja Asif

Earlier, Asif announced the former army chief had been appointed the commander of the Saudi-led 39-nation military coalition to combat terrorism. The government was taken into confidence about the former army chief’s new role, he added.

On Monday, the Senate chairman directed the government to brief the House on reports regarding Gen (redt) Raheel’s likely appointment as the chief of the Saudi military coalition.

Parliamentary leaders question Raheel Sharif’s likely appointment as head of Saudi military alliance

Questioning whether the government’s permission was sought before the former army chief ‘accepted’ the role, Rabbani asked Asif as to who confirmed his appointment and what the rules were for a retired military officer to take up such a position.

Rabbani sought a clarification from the Defence Ministry as to “whether any no objection certificate (NoC) was ever issued to Gen (retd) Raheel before he embarked upon a journey for a job in Saudi Arabia and if issued, who did so. And was the government taken into confidence in this context?”

courtesy : dawn news

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