Raheel Sharif departs to lead military alliance as govt issues NOC

Gen Raheel Sharif gets NOC to head Islamic military alliance: reports

Asif said the former chief was given the No Objection Certificate after approval from the Pakistan Army's General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.

Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told Geo News that Sharif was given permission to head the military alliance after completion of all legal formalities and requirements. The special plane landed in Lahore at 12:00 pm and left after an hour.

Speaking to Ambassador-designate to Saudi Arabia, Khan Hasham, in the capital today, he said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have always stood by each other during testing times, Radio Pakistan reported.

The issue of General Raheel was a hard decision due to rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran but Pakistan chose to let him join the alliance as its first chief due to close ties with Riyadh.

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Prime Minister Nawaz also advised the ambassador to work with utmost dedication for the welfare of Pakistani diaspora and pay attention to the education of their children.

Saudi Arabia said the alliance, which noticeably lacks the presence of Iran, will "coordinate and support military operations to fight terrorism".

Earlier this week, Iran's ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost expressed reservations over Sharif's role as head of the Saudi-led military alliance. According to reports, 5,000 Pakistani troops are departing to be a part of the coalition that has been billed as an "Islamic military alliance".

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