ISLAMABAD: Taking U-turn, the Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif Wednesday expressed complete ignorance about appointment of former army chief Gen (Retd) Raheel Sharif chief Islamic military alliance, saying that the government has not yet received any application for NOC from former army chief.
He was giving policy statement in the Senate, which met with chairman Raza Rabbani in the chair. The defence minister said that according to media reports, the former army chief Gen (Retd) Raheel Sharif has taken charge of chief of Islamic Military Alliance. However, he added, the government has no information in this regard as he has not yet applied for NOC.
The minister said that the government would take action according to law whenever the former army chief applies for NOC. He said that NOC was mandatory for military officials for applying for job after retirement. He said that Raheel Sharif has not yet applied for NOC. He said Raheel Sharif had gone for Umra on Saudi invitation. He said that the former army chief has returned to Pakistan, but the defence ministry has not yet received any application for NOC.
Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani asked the minister whether Raheel Sharif had informed Pakistan Army in this regard.
“No, he has not informed the Army,” the minister replied.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz informed the house that he will not speak on the issue as no formal offer had been made by Saudi Arabia in this regard.
Senator Farhatullah Babar intervened in the debate and said that any possible move by the retired Pakistani general to head a Saudi-led army will be detrimental to a resolution passed by Parliament last year advising Pakistan not to become part of the Middle East conflict.

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