Gen Raheel heading Saudi-led military alliance opposed

Senator Farhatullah Barbar says by keeping out Iran, Iraq and Syria, the alliance is widely perceived as a grouping of Sunni countries fighting against the Shiite Muslims

 Gen Raheel heading Saudi-led military alliance opposed


ISLAMABAD: Opposing the appointment of General Raheel Sharif to head the Saudi led 34-nation military alliance, Senator Farhatullah Babar warned the government of far reaching consequences for Pakistan.

Taking part in the Senate discussion on Wednesday, he said that the military alliance was formed ostensibly to fight terrorism. However, by deliberately keeping out Shiite countries of Iran, Iraq and Syria, it was widely perceived as a grouping of sunni countries fighting against the Shiite Muslims in the region, he added.

What will happen iftomorrowIran formed a similar military alliance of Shiite countries and invited a retired sympathetic Pakistani senior military commander to head it? He asked.“This is a recipe for disaster”

Farhatullah Babar said that the joint sitting of the parliament had unanimously said a big no to any participation in the military alliance and if a recently retired general went straight from the GHQ to head the same, it will send a very wrong and disturbing message all around.

General Raheel had earned unprecedented respect of the entire nation across the board and heading the new military alliance will not add to his standing, he said, urging the former general to decline the offer.

He said that General (r) Raheel had announced his decision to retire from the army ten months ahead of the retirement date for which he was greatly admired and applauded by all. “All that applause will die down if he joined the alliance within days of his retirement and tongues will start wagging about the early announcement,” he said.

Babar also opposed extension to military courts after their demise last week.He said that a thorough analysis should be made as to how many of those sentenced to death were jet black terrorists for which the courts had been set up in the first place.

“The procedure and collection of evidence adopted in these courts should also be examined. It should also be investigated whether some internees in the internment centres of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were also sentenced to death,” he added.

He drew the attention towards the 35 internees who disappeared from Malakand centre sometime back out of which only 7 were produced before the Supreme Court. “There is no place for military courts in a democratic polity,” he concluded.