Raheel Sharif leading Saudi alliance in personal capacity: Sartaj

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, said Wednesday the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General (retd) Raheel Sharif took the assignment of heading Saudi-led military coalition in his personal capacity.

He was briefing the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, about state’s position on the 41-nation ‘Islamic’ military alliance to counter terrorism. Aziz told Sharif was not sent to Saudi Arabia officially by the government. This contradicts with the earlier statements of Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif in which he told, during an interview, that the government had allowed Raheel Sharif to lead the military alliance. Sharif had left for Saudi Arabia after issuance of No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to lead the ‘Muslim NATO’.