Raheel assuages concern

SAUDI Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday opened the first high-level meeting of a kingdom-led coalition of Muslim nations against terrorism in Riyadh. In his address, the Prince said that Sunday’s meeting sends “a strong signal that we are going to work together and coordinate together to support each other.”
The objectives of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) were quite clear from the day one when the concept was announced by the Kingdom but some circles in Pakistan and some other countries have been resorting to undue criticism of the new entity. It is known to all that the Muslim world is at the receiving end as for as war on terror or consequences of terrorism is concerned. Saudis deserve appreciation for launching the initiative that will allow the member countries to take care of the problem effectively. Pakistan’s former Army Chief and commander of the coalition retired General Raheel Sharif rightly pointed out that a number of member countries were under tremendous pressure while fighting well established terrorist organizations due to capacity shortage of their armed forces and law enforcement agencies. He also clarified the role and modus operandi of the coalition by emphasizing that its aims to “mobilize and coordinate the use of resources, facilitate the exchange of information and help member countries build their own counter-terrorism capacity”. This makes it abundantly clear that it is beyond the scope of the new force to intervene physically in an individual country especially without being invited or asked. The new force has the support of 41 Muslim states which also makes it absolutely clear that it would not be easy to use the entity against another Muslim country as is being propagated by some vested interests. We hope that the coalition would make a difference as far as fighting terrorism is concerned and would help individual countries take practical steps to address the problem both at ideological and tactical levels.

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