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Dar says Gen Sharif sure to weigh obligations before joining Islamic coalition force

Updated Jan 10, 2017 07:30am

Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday said he believes that retired Gen Raheel Sharif will consult the government and fulfill all his legal and constitutional obligations before taking any decision on chairing the 39-nation Islamic coalition force.

While talking to anchorperson Nadeem Malik on Samaa TV, Dar revealed that Saudi Arabia had wanted Raheel Sharif to chair the coalition force even while he was heading Pakistan Army.

"[However,] Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the government and the then Chief of Armed Staff (COAS) were in consensus that it would be a conflict of interests [to do so]," he said, adding that it would not have been suitable for Gen Raheel Sharif to be Pakistan's COAS while also heading a coalition force of 39 countries.

"He [Raheel Sharif] is currently on a visit to Saudi Arabia for his umra, and if he has received an offer in this regard, he will fill his constitutional and legal obligations before he takes it up," Dar said.

"Knowing Gen Raheel Sharif, (I can say that) he will leave nothing [up] in the air and will fulfill the prerequisites," he added.

The minister further clarified that he was not aware specifically if Gen Sharif had been made an offer or not; but if he had, he was sure Gen Sharif would make its acceptance subject to the condition that he fulfills his obligations to the Constitution.

He agreed with host Nadeem Malik that Gen Sharif would need the approval of the government if he wishes to take up the role before the expiry of a two-year restriction on his post-service employment.

Dar rescued himself from giving an opinion on the matter, saying that he will be in the core group where the development will be discussed, so it will not be fair to comment on it at this time.

"That decision is going to be taken by the government, obviously," he said.

"I am sure Raheel Sharif will come back and talk to the government, and particularly the prime minister, and the decision will be taken keeping in view the greater interest of the country and in accordance with the laws and the Constitution," he added.