ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has agreed to allow former army chief Gen Raheel Sharif to head a Saudi Arabia-led 39-nation Islamic military coalition formed to combat terrorism, according to a media report.
This was disclosed by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif in a programme of private Geo TV.
Citing Asif, the channel said official documentation to issue the No-Objection Certificate (NOC) had not been done but the government has agreed in principle to issue the permission because the Saudi leadership had formally requested through a letter to let Raheel take up the command of the coalition.
Asif said he had visited Saudi Arabia for Umrah earlier this year, and had also met officials of the Saudi government.
In May, the advisory board of defense ministers of member countries will attend a meeting on the issue, he said, adding the structure of the alliance had not been decided so far.
“When General (Retd) Raheel Sharif joins he will define a structure,” he said.
In January this year, the defence minister had informed the Senate that the former army chief had not sought an NOC to lead a Saudi-led military alliance.