General Raheel Sharif puts condition to lead Saudi-formed counter-terrorism alliance

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Thursday, 01 December 2016

General (r) Raheel Sharif has conditionally accepted to take the command of Saudi-formed self-claimed Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT) on certain terms.

Daily Pakistan news website carried an exclusive report of Saeed Chudhry that claimed that the sources had confirmed that the former army chief has expressed his willingness to take the charge of the 39-nation military alliance, IMAFT, only if he is also empowered to play the role of an arbitrator between the belligerent groups in the Middle East. Gen Raheel has clearly refused to command a force which fights for a single country.
Meanwhile, Iran has also assured to accept Pakistan’s role in mediating Yemen crisis if the general takes IMAFT’s command with an authority of arbitrator.
Iran, through its consulate in Pakistan, sent a letter to the ex-COAS and assured that it will not only cooperate with Pakistan in controlling the Yemen crisis but will also bring the Houthi rebels on negotiating terms if he takes the command of this Islamic military alliance.
Sources add that General Raheel Sharif had expressed his willingness for the arbitration during his meeting with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, while Turkish leadership has also been conveyed the development in this regard.
Daily Pakistan report claimed that the proposal was first presented to Gen Raheel by Saudi Arabia and then similar requests were made by Iran to Pakistan’s foreign ministry as well. However, the general will only accept the offer if he is also allowed to mediate between the warring groups.
Shiite News deems it appropriate to add here that Saudi officials denied having given any mandate of mediation to Pakistan when Nawaz Sharif and General Raheel had gone to Iran after Saudi visit for mediation.
Founded by Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud on December 15, 2015, Islamic Military Alliance was aimed to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT) and based at a joint command centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The creation of this 34-nation alliance was first announced by Mohammad bin Salman Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s Miner of Defense, on December 15, 2015. By March 2016, this had risen to 39.
As a matter of fact, it is counter terrorism coordination centre that was headquartered in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia had made it clear that he did not belong to any military alliance.

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