No request received for NOC by Gen ® Raheel to head Arab Coalition Force: Asif


ISLAMABAD, Jan 11 (APP): Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif Wednesday apprised the Senate that the Defence Ministry had not yet received any request from former Chief of Army Staff General ® Raheel Sharif to grant no objection certificate (NOC) to head Arab Coalition Forces.
Giving a statement on media reports that Gen ® Raheel Sharif has been appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Arab Coalition Forces led by Saudi Arabia, the minister said if any request was received in that regard, it would be dealt with according to the rules.
He said the Defence Ministry had specific rules to hire services of retired armed forces officers within the country and in such cases NOC was required before taking up the new responsibility. However, the rules were silent about those who seek employment abroad, he added.
Asif said the former COAS had performed Umra on the invitation of Saudi Arabia and he had informed the government about that.
Responding to a Senate Chairman’s query that had Raheel Sharif sought any permission from the government, the minister said the former COAS had sought permission for going on Umra but had not yet informed the ministry or General Headquarters (GHQ) about any offer to him by Saudi Arabia to lead the coalition force.
When Chairman Raza Rabbani asked the minister whether Raheel Sharif had informed his parent organisation in that regard, the minister said, “No, he (Raheel Sharif) has not intimated.”
Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz also informed the House that no formal request had so far been received for NOC from Gen ® Raheel Sharif.