Pakistan ex-army chief to command Islamic anti-terror force?
Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) Pakistan’s former army chief, General Raheel Sharif (retd.) has agreed to command a multinational Islamic anti-terror force, on certain terms and conditions, including being allowed to arbitrate between belligerents, a media report said.
Daily Pakistan, citing sources, reported that Sharif, who relinquished office of the army chief command last week, was willing to command the 39-nation Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT) set up under Saudi Arabia’s auspices in December last year.
The report said that Iran has also assured to accept Pakistan’s role in mediating Yemen crisis if Sharif becomes IMAFT chief with an authority of arbitrator, and would use its influence on the Houthi rebels to bring them to the negotiating table.
It quoted the sources as saying that Sharif had expressed his willingness for the arbitration during his meeting with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz.
The creation of IMAFT, with a joint command centre in Riyadh, was announced by Saudi Arabian Defence Minister Mohammad bin Salman Al-Saud on December 15, 2015.
Initially with 34 members, the military alliance of Muslim countries spanning Nigeria to Malaysia intended to undertake military intervention against IS and other anti-terrorist activities across the Middle East and other countries, had risen to 39 by March 2016.