COAS meets Gen (R) Raheel, national and regional issues discussed

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General (r) Raheel Sharif, the Commander-In-Chief of IMCTC and former Pakistan army chief, called on Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ Rawalpindi on Monday.

According to ISPR, matters of mutual interest, including regional peace and stability were discussed during the meeting.

It said that the COAS appreciated the efforts of Saudi Arabia-led Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) towards regional peace and security.

General Raheel, who retired as chief of Pakistan Army in November 2016, arrived in Pakistan along with the IMCTC delegation on Sunday.

The delegation was also to hold meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other civil and military leaders during their 2-day visit.

IMCTC is a coalition of 41 Muslim countries that aims at fighting terrorism through collective efforts in the ideology, communication, counterterrorist financing and military domains.

According to the coalition, it works within four domains of action to counter terrorism – including the ideology domain, which promotes an intellectual understanding of Islam and diversity as effective tools against the false beliefs of violent extremist ideologies.

The military coalition was initially proposed as a platform for security cooperation among Muslim countries and included provisions for training, equipment and troops, and the involvement of religious scholars for devising a counter-terrorism narrative.

The appointment of Raheel Sharif as the leader of the Saudi-led alliance in 2017 had sparked a debate over how the move will impact Pakistan’s foreign policy, and whether it was fully sanctioned by the parliament.

In December last year, during the visit of a Senate delegation to the IMCTC headquarters in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, Gen Sharif had denied the impression that the military coalition that he heads was established to counter a specific country or sect.

The Nation

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