News Desk |
Pakistan’s former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif has been granted the first extension in his service as the Commander of 39-countries Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC).
Media reports claimed that General Raheel has been given further extension in his incumbent capacity for one year. He had assumed charge as Commander of Riyadh based Coalition Force towards the end of May 2017.
Saudi Arabia had acquired the services of Gen Sharif, who retired in November 2016, as head of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) in 2017.
The federal cabinet had issued him NOC for the slot to regularize his service abroad after retiring from the army. Earlier, the general and his family were granted five-year multiple visas of Saudi Arabia as he visited Pakistan four times after assuming the responsibilities in the Kingdom’s capital.
In November 2017, international media had reported that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman had opened the inaugural meeting of the Islamic coalition against terrorism. In his address, the Crown Prince said that Saudi Arabia has declared a “war against terrorism” saying the kingdom would not allow terrorists to tarnish the image of Islam.
“We will not allow such elements to tarnish the image of Islam,” he said while addressing the defence chiefs, diplomats and officials. The political commentators had dubbed the Saudi-led coalition the “Muslim NATO”.
While addressing the gathering, General Sharif had said that almost 70,000 terror attacks took place in recent years, killing approximately 200,000 people. He had said that terrorism had an impact on many countries in the Islamic world but Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan had suffered the most.
“The vision of the IMCTC is to have a collective response to terrorism… it will provide a platform to the member-countries to fight terrorism,” General Sharif had said. “The IMCTC is not against any country, sect or religion,” he said, adding that efforts would be made to promote the moderate form of Islam.
Raheel Sharif-led IMCTC Delegation Arrives in Pakistan on First Visit
In February 2019, a delegation of the Islamic military coalition against terrorism had arrived in Pakistan for the first-ever visit to the country for talks with the top Pakistani leadership on counter-terrorism and regional security situation, among other issues.
General Sharif-led trip by the head of the 41-nation military coalition had come ahead of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s visit to Pakistan on February 17, 2019. The visiting delegation held key meetings with the civil and military leadership of the country during the two-day visit.
Saudi Arabia had acquired the services of Gen Sharif, who retired in November 2016, as head of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) in 2017. The IMCTC was cobbled together in December 2015 to combat terrorism.