Web Desk (24 News) — Former Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif has been given No Objection Certificate (NOC) by the government on Friday, reports 24 News HD.
General Sharif’s NOC has been approved, revealed Khawaja Asif in an interview to a local news agency earlier on Friday. A special plane will depart for Saudi Arabia, it is learnt.
A statement carried by Saudi state news agency SPA in December 2015 said the new coalition would have 34 members, though more have joined since then. It also said the coalition would be based in Riyadh to “coordinate and support military operations” against terrorism. Little has been heard of it since then.
The states it listed as joining the new coalition included Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan and several African nations.
It did not include Shi’ite Muslim Iran and its allies Syria and Iraq, leading to speculation that it could become a potential Sunni bloc against Iran, a rival of Sunni Saudi Arabia for influence across the Arab world. Tehran and Riyadh are ranged on opposite sides in proxy conflicts in Syria and Yemen.
General Sharif retired last November, the first Pakistani army chief in more than 20 years not to seek an extension to his term like some previous military leaders.