Former army chief Gen (r) Raheel Sharif on Wednesday denied the impression that the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition was against a specific nation or sect.
According to a statement issued by the Senate Secretariat, the former army chief, who also heads the 41-nation alliance was called on by a Senate delegation led by Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani at the Islamic Military Counterterrorism Coalition (IMCTC) headquarters in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
The Senate delegation was welcomed to the IMCTC headquarters by Sharif, the coalition’s commander, and General Abdul Rehman, the deputy commander.
Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani Visits Islamic Coalition Force Headquarters, General Raheel Briefs Senate Delegation about Role and Purpose of IMCTC. He informed the Senate Chairman that the basic aim of this institution is to counter terrorism and eliminate it. pic.twitter.com/GAPj6IzGyv
— Senate of Pakistan (@SenatePakistan) December 19, 2018
During the visit, the former army chief briefed the Senate delegation about the performance and aims and objectives of the military alliance.
“The Islamic military coalition was not formed to take action against any country, nation or sect,” Sharif was quoted as saying.
“The primary objective of this institution is to counter terrorism and eliminate it,” Sharif was quoted as saying by the Senate Secretariat.
During the meeting, the senators lauded the resolve and efforts of the Saudi king and government to end terrorism.
Last year, Sharif’s appointment as the leader of the Saudi military alliance had sparked a debate over how the move will impact Pakistan’s foreign policy, and whether it was fully sanctioned by the parliament.
The military coalition was initially proposed as a platform for security cooperation among Muslim countries and included provisions for training, equipment and troops, and the involvement of religious scholars for devising a counter-terrorism narrative.
To address the rising concerns, a parliamentary resolution on Yemen was passed unanimously by lawmakers calling for “neutrality in the conflict” in 2015.
Khurram Dastagir, the then defence minister, had clarified before Senate that the alliance will not take part in “unrelated military operations”.