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Chief of a phantom army

Updated Mar 29, 2017 08:31am

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It is now official. Retired Gen Raheel Sharif will soon be taking over the command of the so-called Islamic army that is still to take shape. The ambiguity surrounding the decision to lend the services of the country’s former army chief to Saudi Arabia has finally been cleared. The defence minister has confirmed what has been rumoured for the past several months.

But there is still no word from the retired general on his new job; nor is there any formal policy statement from the government on Pakistan’s participation in the Saudi-led coalition of 39 countries. Things are certainly not as simple as Khawaja Asif wants us to believe, that the government has allowed the former chief of army staff to accept the appointment on the Saudi request.

This decision needed much more serious thinking as it implicates Pakistan in a highly contentious situation. Let along it being debated in parliament, it is apparent that the government has not even taken the cabinet into confidence on this critical issue that has a direct bearing on our national security and foreign policy. The secrecy surrounding the move raises many questions about our policymaking process. The argument that the government could not refuse the Saudi request makes us appear more like a client state.

What has added to the confusion is the impression that it was simply a job offer to the former army chief, and that the government was only supposed to give him clearance and waive the restriction stipulating that military officers cannot accept a foreign assignment for two years after retirement. That makes it more imperative for both the government and Gen Raheel to clarify their positions. It is unprecedented for a former Pakistani army chief to seek a foreign assignment and that too immediately after retirement.


How can the government now resist the possible demand to contribute troops to the coalition force?


Whatever the truth may be, the government’s approval indicates a clear departure from our policy of not getting involved in the Middle East power game. It is that much more intriguing as Pakistan has yet to decide what role it will play in the coalition force. A Pakistani heading it will inevitably place us in the hotspot and drag the country into a conflict that we have thus far kept out of, thereby endangering our own national security interests.

From the outset, the very concept of a Saudi-led military bloc is divisive, given the deep involvement of the kingdom in the Middle Eastern civil war. Unilaterally announced by Riyadh last year, the so-called Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism is still a phantom force with no clear structure or well-defined objectives.

Like many other countries, Pakistan was also taken by surprise by the Saudi announcement of the alliance, also described as a Sunni coalition. There were no prior consultations among the countries that were supposed to be part of it. Pakistan agreed to participate in the alliance, perhaps, in order not to further alienate the Saudis who were already upset at the government’s refusal to send troops to Yemen on their behalf.

Interestingly, the Saudi initiative came weeks after the Pakistani parliament unanimously rejected Riyadh’s request. Pakistan, however, made it clear that its participation in the alliance would be limited and it would not commit any troops. But one wonders how Pakistan can keep its promise with its retired army chief heading the force. How can the government now resist the demand that may come next, to contribute troops to the coalition force? All these questions must be clarified.

Some of the contradictory statements coming from the senior cabinet ministers reinforce the doubts that no serious thinking was done before taking the decision. While divulging the information during a TV interview, the defence minister was evasive on the question whether the decision would affect our policy of maintaining neutrality in the Middle East crisis. Understandably there has not been any reaction from GHQ on the issue.

Adding to the confusion were the remarks made by another federal minister, retired Lt Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch, who advised Gen Raheel not to accept the controversial position that could harm his reputation. Similarly, some other senior members of the ruling party insist it was the former army chief’s own decision to take up the job. But there is no answer to why the government is compelled to grant him the permission if it was not in the country’s interest. The opposition parties are justified in asking the government not to issue him the NOC.

Perhaps the strongest defence came from National Security Advisor retired Lt Gen Nasser Janjua, who believes that Gen Raheel’s appointment provides a great opportunity for Pakistan to work for the “unity of Muslim Ummah”. He dismissed the argument that the decision would adversely affect Islamabad’s relations with Tehran.

Some other reports, quoting senior government officials, maintain that there has been high-level consultation with Iran on the issue and that Tehran has no objection to Pakistan’s participation in the Saudi-led alliance. However, the veracity of the reports about Tehran’s approval cannot be confirmed. Iran has been publicly critical of the Saudi initiative that it perceives as being directed against it.

Surely Iran’s concerns cannot be ignored given the ongoing proxy war in the Middle East. But that is not the only point to consider in the argument against Pakistan becoming an active participant in the Saudi-led coalition. It is simply not in the interest of the country to get involved in any outside conflict.

Another critical question is; why does a supposed counterterrorism alliance need to raise a multinational military force? If it is only a consultative body and intends to develop a unified counterterrorism strategy, then why the need to have a retired general to lead a ghost force? One expects the government to respond to these questions. Any decision based on external pressure jeopardising our national security must not be acceptable.

The writer is an author and journalist.

zhussain100@yahoo.com

Twitter: @hidhussain

Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2017

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The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.



Comments (88) Closed



jalaluddin S. Hussain Mar 29, 2017 06:48am

The appointment of General (retired) Raheel Sharif, as Head of the 39-member Military Coalition, is not advisable, particularly when the National Assembly of Pakistan has already unanimously rejected the idea of any sort of military support to the government of Saudi Arabia.

Khan Viet Mar 29, 2017 08:18am

United States had Cento and SeTo pacts with Pakistan - come 1965 USA embargo Pakistan: Turkey NATO member during 2war Weapons of mass destruction - forgoes Billions in aid and did not allow USA shipments through its territory : Now a retired general will supervise, perhaps devise, train a a ghost army that( will) will take time and money: nothing seems imminent : Remember Bangladesh troops contributing to First Gulf war, Saudi ended up with mouths to feed, cloth, and train and plus pay those non useable souls. Yes, author is correct, the retired General will be heading a ' ghost ' army and perhaps non potent force solely to collect stipends and perform spiritual obligations Haj and Umrah. However, if he can train and raise a million man hard core force for future use will be good ? It is not necessary to send such force on evil mission after all Noble Peace Prize is given on the bounty of dynamite? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Intent is the core here , lets role the dice

IFTIKHAR KHAN Mar 29, 2017 08:40am

A very smart Saudi move to invest in the future political make up of Pakistan in post-NS era. They have minute probability to lose by betting on RS horse at this stage.

Mujtaba Mar 29, 2017 08:39am

Come on guys give him a break. Let him have a retired life of his choice. He is a professional and someone wants to take advantage of his combat and leadership skills. We all know terrorism is a manice and needs to be eradicated, he is the only one with some success in this venue.. let's them use his skills.

Shahzaib latif Mar 29, 2017 08:52am

Though the matter is highly sensitive, one can hope Raheel Sharif will try to keep things in best intrest of pak.

maverik Mar 29, 2017 09:21am

GRS is retired and can't be associated with any institution or organisation of Pakistan. We didn't bother to value his experience and sacrificed his extension for politics, and now we have no right to argue against him taking a new job. He is retired and can pursue any career he finds interesting.

SAT Mar 29, 2017 10:21am

Contributing one general of Raheel's caliber is equal to contribution of several thousand troops.

i2i Mar 29, 2017 10:28am

I hope Gen RS will help bring peace in the region. Iran and Russia also have interest in peace why would they or their proxies bother about?

Yousuf Mar 29, 2017 10:31am

If Mr Raheel is that much free then he can contribute to welfare of pakistan. God knows we have our own problems

sher Jang Gilgit Mar 29, 2017 10:43am

The KSA and Iran both are the main cause of dividing the whole Muslim Ummah on sectarian lines without any justification. Both countries are ruthless in terms of defending their own interests and are actively involved in fanning sectarian division in all the Muslim countries and oil on the fire is the fact that they are not truly democratic in their approach as KSA is a monarchy and Iran is a theocracy. It is widely reported that their respective proxies are involved in wrecking havoc in the name of their strategic depth and both are the architects of numerous deadly groups who are responsible to shed the blood of innocents. In this scenario what is left with us being a sovereign state is to abstain from initiatives that may further divide the Muslim Ummah and decisions taken in haste without considering it's merits and demerits can extend no service to our national security. We can not force them to make unity unless they are not doing it by themselves. Peace.

syed haider Mar 29, 2017 11:03am

The concept of a military alliance that can respond to regional threats that comprises of forces in the region is not a wild idea. This force may work better in such situations since its roots and traditions are not foreign to the region. Pakistanis have proved their cadre and caliber in all fields and the opportunity of having a Pakistani lead such an initiative is not only an honor for Pakistan but very appropriate as Pakistan's military forces are regarded professionally to be as among the very best in the world.

mansha sherazi Mar 29, 2017 11:04am

This is not a well studied article!!! Pakistan should be part of this coalition.

Boo Ali Mar 29, 2017 11:09am

Good points raised. However don't worry Sir. nothing will come out from this move of KSA. There are two main components of move. Foul play and money.

syed haider Mar 29, 2017 11:16am

Decisions like this are not a random phenomena. There is always deep thinking and planning behind such decisions. The lack of discussion of it on social media and newspapers and lack of 'permission' from our esteemed columnists do not mean that this is all unplanned and adhoc. The entire nation trusted Raheel Shareef when he took on the lawlessness and chaos after he assumed office. The fact that he does not wear the same uniform does not mean that he has lost it. Please have some trust and faith in the man to whom we owe a short yet significant era of peace and lawfulness in our immediate past.

Abe Mar 29, 2017 11:23am

Aside from a seemingly secretive deal between NS government and the Saudis, the most puzzling part that stands out of this whole unfolding saga, is the fact that none of the so-called 39 members were ever consulted with, no conference of OIC was held to discuss the formation of this 'Alliance'.

That the Saudi announcement came as a surprise to everyone, especially to the states allegedly being included in this 'Alliance'itself reeks of secrecy and ulterior motives of the Saudi government.

Is this 'Alliance'being forged to defend islsmic countries and it's people? Will it liberate Jerusalem, or Kashmir?

Will the 'Alliance'come to the aid of suffering Muslims in China, Myanmar or elsewhere? If not, then we don't need it or want it

If this is just a front for the US- led so-called war on terror -which has created more terrorism rather than quelling it, than we should stay well away from it.

Gen. Raheel himself needs to level with Pakistanis to clear the air, or solve the riddle.

Ahmed Mar 29, 2017 11:36am

Why should we care about Iran. How many Pakistanis get jobs in Iran as compared to KSA?

Haroon AShraf Mar 29, 2017 11:39am

The government is passing the blame on General Sharif for being part of a dubious coalition of Islamic army. Grant of NOC to the retired army chief and advising him not to head the coalition by general (read) Abdul Qadir Baloch is a considered move by the PML(N) government to absolve themselves.

Ahmed Mar 29, 2017 11:52am

Let him lead, he got the waiver, he has his post-retirement carrier. As you and me have rights, he too does.

gary Mar 29, 2017 12:19pm

@maverik He can but he cannot take the public land.

jasb Mar 29, 2017 12:31pm

Oh come on why are you guys going at length about this? It is very simple, Saudi Arabia needs someone to lead an army and Pakistan is lending its former army chief for this. What's the problem in that? Why can't we guys just keep things simple?

Abdulla Hussain Mar 29, 2017 12:39pm

Good decision, there is nothing negative in it. No one will get perturbed over it.

malik humayoun Mar 29, 2017 12:53pm

Great decision by Mr. General Raheel Sharif he prove himself while he was Pak army COAS as Great commander all over the Muslim world and after take charge the 39 Muslim countries will be found as Great Leader of the Muslim world, so please do not look with sectarian eyes He will be unite and will include other remaining Muslim countries and will be solved the differences among the Muslim world that we are suffering.

Ashraf Mar 29, 2017 12:59pm

Islamic army is a great idea. Hope it succeeds

Muneer Mar 29, 2017 01:21pm

The government has not yet issued any official handout of the appointment of Raheel Sharif.The tv script shows the appointment as head of coalition of 39 countries against terrorism.It does not indicate as chief of their combined army contingents or anything like that.If the former is correct then he is heading a forum against terrorism and not any Islamic army.If Iran can forward its point of view through Pakistan till such time it joins the forum,relations between Pakistan and Iran will also not be affected.A formal announcement by Pakistan is necessary about the appointment to avoid controversy and speculation.

Thought provoking Mar 29, 2017 01:27pm

well Articulated !! we have to understand the changing dynamics of international politics and changing Geo-politics of middle east, The Iran is our friend being an Islamic country .we have to develop a good understanding with iran for the great unity of Islamic ummah and Islamic Brother Hood.The Iran should need to be convinced to become the part of this Islamic Military Alliance Against regional terrorism Through smart diplomatic channels. we have to develop an understanding for great unification of The Muslims world that This Alliance will be bigger game changer for the prosperity and Regional security of Islamic counties , Iran should be convinced and motivated to join the alliance as well for the unity and solidarity of Islamic countries .The Islamic countries national sovereignty and security should need to be protected .The Islamic Military Alliance should needs to develop a unified counter terrorism strategy which could be benefited to all Muslim countries for peace .

Feroz Mar 29, 2017 01:28pm

The government must come to Parliament and explain to the people why the two year cooling off period has been waived.

M. Saeed Awan Mar 29, 2017 01:39pm

Only Shia brothers opposes it otherwise no harm but diginity for Pakistan to be the head of such huge army of 39 countries.

NVV Mar 29, 2017 01:43pm

I had always been a appreciator of Zahid Sahab, but today - i am appreciating the people who have commented on this blog. Good intellectual brains. Thanks everyone...

F Khan Mar 29, 2017 01:43pm

I have failed to understand why has RS to lead the phantoms when Pakistan has declined to contribute its army.If its is not good for Pakistan to contribute its army how can it be wise for RS to lead it?

AliPasha(USA) Mar 29, 2017 01:53pm

He is a civilian now and he can do whatever likes.

Faisal A Malik Mar 29, 2017 02:04pm

The author failed to mention that Iran is actively involved in killing of Muslims in Syria by supporting a tyrant. Also Iran is continuoulsy accomodating India against the best interest Pakistan. It is time we should also prioritize our interst and not be afraid of "what others would think".

Zubair Mar 29, 2017 02:01pm

I simply fail to understand why a small number of people in Pakistan are trying to project the image that if the ex army chief heads the coaloation forces then it will offend Iran. Why should we care? It is the Iran that hosts Indian mercenaries and spies to sabotage Pakistan and carry out terrorist activities in Pakistan!

KHALID rIAZ Mar 29, 2017 02:07pm

Mr Zahid Hussain, with due respect, your whole argument revolves around Iran ignoring the rest of the Muslim world including Pakistan. Pakistan and her armed forces are not responsible for protecting Tehran but defence of the mother land and that of the holy land (Haramain) is their prime objective. I don't see why the Pro-Iranian elements are against this coalition while Iran herself has a coaliton with Iraq and Syria over sectarian lines. Regards

Khalid Riaz

Qamar Mar 29, 2017 02:37pm

It is apparent that on the behest of US and Saudi Arabia Pakistan fought a useless and without any concrete policy a war against Russia. Now again it is the two pressuring to fight a war against none other than Muslims. Saudi only want to save their monarchy. Sharif and others who are making policy should ponder on it very carefully.

atif khan Mar 29, 2017 02:40pm

i wonder how much will be be paid.. i think other are resisting as they are jealous

Ghulam ali Mar 29, 2017 02:48pm

@maverik we didn't sacrifice his extension for political reasons. It was he himself who refused any extension and announced his retirement on his own will. RS is an ex-COAS who has information and contacts in Pak Army. Therefore, he must not lead any military coalition which is not in the interest of Pakistan.

Iftikhar Husain Mar 29, 2017 02:55pm

The KSA are showing their leadership to organize some sort of alliance for keeping peace in ME but on the other hand giving arms and money to the terrorists to fight against Shia governments of Iran Iraq and Syria.

Asif Kashmiri Mar 29, 2017 03:18pm

Well done great General - Poeple please do give him a break

Nasiroski Mar 29, 2017 03:25pm

Nothing good will ever come out of this. The moment actions are taken without by circumventing rules and policies, it leads to some sort of disaster.

Adeel Azmat Mar 29, 2017 03:44pm

Well written article showing both sides of the coin.

If Pakistan's involvement in the Middle East conflicts is unavoidable, I rather have a Pakistani Leader in command of the operations.

Overall this could be good to bring more stability to the region.

butterfly Mar 29, 2017 03:46pm

The decision to head this ghost coalition is wrong on so many levels... but can actually prove to be the climax of the entire drama! This coalition and its failures will expose that (1) Saudi Arabia itself is the biggest state sponsor of terrorism (2) Those actually in power in Pakistan never made a decision in favor of Pakistan

Sajid Sajjad Abbasi Mar 29, 2017 04:04pm

There is nothing wrong if the job could be used to unite Muslim world and bring good name to the country but everything is wrong if it serves the other way around.

Silent spectator Mar 29, 2017 04:11pm

@KHALID rIAZ ... according to your logic if Iran can make a military alliance with iraq on sectarian lines. , why can't Pakistan make one with KSA. Mr khalid Pakistan has substantial proportion of its population comprising of Shia brothers. Their voice can also not be silenced. We cant afford to make sectarian alliances. Such big decisions do need a debate in parliament. We are not a client of any foreign kingdom. Further more, don't forget that this so called alliance brings you face to face with Russia and China as well. FYI it was these 2 countries blocking UN resolution for action against syria six times in last six years. Before hastily running after appeasing Saudi monarchs and getting rented out/ sold out, our learders and commanders need to look at the region's and neighbourhood's strategic realities also. But all this could only be possible if we remove the spectacles of Secterian bias and our greed for money.

citizen Mar 29, 2017 04:09pm

Suppose if coalition forces plan to bomb and kill innocent poor yemanis under RS, what will be the reaction of our public?

Naved Mar 29, 2017 04:52pm

Great Decision forPakistan and for all in the Muslim world.

MHS Mar 29, 2017 05:01pm

let the events unfold in this episode Only time can tell if this decision was right or wrong. If intentions of the saudi government are sincere and not against a single target to further the Shia Sunni conflict in the region then this Alliance can flourish and may achieve fruitful results against terrorism. We all hope Raheel Sharif plays an important and positive role on this platform as well

A .M Mar 29, 2017 06:06pm

Broadly agree with the writer of the above article It is not in Pakistan's interest to join this Saudi scheme..To some readers of Dawn who are ardent admirers of the General- a request- please try not to to elevate him as the Messiah and just regard him as an army officer with a record of success in the fight against terrorism. Let him not be the man to cause division in the Ummah by joining the proxy wars in the Middle East.

Ibraheem Tahir Mar 29, 2017 06:09pm

Parliament should discuss before making another that we can't afford right now. KSA has been deeply involved in shia sunni conflicts, how can we trust them. Our national interest is to have good relations with our neighbors.

Khwarizmi Mar 29, 2017 06:27pm

It is a scource of honor that a Pakistani general who is also the most respected man in Pakistan has been selected for this post.

Dawn Mar 29, 2017 06:31pm

Chief of a Muslim army to fight Muslims!

javed Mar 29, 2017 06:35pm

@KHALID rIAZ. Thank you for saying eloquently, what I could not.

Khan Mar 29, 2017 06:35pm

Has anything that is debated in the Parliament ever decided or agreed upon? not in my memory. Why don't we let the government do its job and focus on things that we are supposed to do. In my ignorant mind I know that at least 39 heads of states have agreed upon a plan, details unknown, so there must be a logic and a reason for doing it.

Muzaffar Ali Mar 29, 2017 06:37pm

@jalaluddin S. Hussain I agree with you....

.....but my question what National Assembly of Pakistan.

When was a resolution contrary to Government wishes was implemented?

Makael Mar 29, 2017 06:58pm

Support your allies as one support close friends. Iran is not our ally nor our friend. It is in our national and international security interest to support Saudi's. This is how the world works. One should be pragmatic about it.

Jaleel U Rahman Mar 29, 2017 07:05pm

Russia,Iran,Turkey,Syria?

USA SaudiArabia, and the new collecton of muslim armies under our general? Does it make sense or I am immagining too much.

Usman Mar 29, 2017 07:05pm

Getting involved in this will directly put Pakistan at the head of a divisive sectarian conflict. Completely unnecessary to open another can of worms when we can't close the ones we have opened in the past.

Stupid decision.

Anwar Mar 29, 2017 07:15pm

Decisions that could matter our country's relation with other states should be discussed and made in the parliment, and studied logically and openly addressed with the people of Pakistan. When such decisions are made by a single person or a particular group of people without the suggestions and approval of the nations's parliment it will definitly have consequences...

Anwar Mar 29, 2017 07:19pm

@Makael So we are just puting our neighbour to our enemies list, first India then Afganistan and now Iran what do you think only one is left....

Sameer Mar 29, 2017 07:36pm

Isnt there a government policy that a government servant of any dept cannot work in a similar position else where for about a year? Has it been a year already?

Berliner Mar 29, 2017 07:42pm

@Mujtaba He will be advising the very people whom he fought hard at home. What a contradiction.

SHAH Mar 29, 2017 07:46pm

Feel Proud

SHAH Mar 29, 2017 07:43pm

@M. Saeed Awan you hit the nail on the head and we all know why 'they'oppose it too!!!

Taha Mar 29, 2017 07:52pm

We knoe iran is upto no good in yemen n syria n iraq god knows whats coming after This is the right time to hold them n sustain peace in the middle east People who oppose are all pro iran

Rizvi Mar 29, 2017 08:15pm

@Anwar China is the only neighbour that is helpful for Pakistan. Iran is behind terrorism in Pakistan

Rizvi Mar 29, 2017 08:23pm

@Makael correct

DR.Shamir Baloch Mar 29, 2017 08:33pm

Temptation and allurement to take this role is great in this job which is offered to the general by wealthy saudi monarch, with the seduction of lot of perks and bonuses for heading this so called islamic military alliance. End of the day it general's personal reputation in the line if things go wrong if he choose to take this role.

I.Ahmad Mar 29, 2017 08:43pm

What Muslim Umma,there is no Muslim umma out side these press conferences.Idea of Muslim Nato is atractive but for that everybody needs to be to in it.

Mana Mar 29, 2017 08:50pm

if the intentions of coalition are good and that is BIG IF then I don't see any issues with Pakistan representation there. Sectarian divide is the worst thing that can happen for any sect so lets hope Neither writer nor any one else start taking this directed against any specific sect. We are together no matter what and should spread peace and harmony

MC Mar 29, 2017 09:29pm

Wrong move. Saudi plan is to isolate Iran and Iran has a lot to share with Pakistan. Pakistan can't afford to have enemies all around it.

LAHORI KID Mar 29, 2017 10:48pm

@Yousuf, Than practice what you are trying to preach, make your vote count, that's the cause of every issue.

AW Mar 30, 2017 12:54am

The dictatorial regimes and royal families in the middle east and elsewhere are not representative of the Muslim Ummah. An ex army chief of Pakistan should not accept any job being offered by these regimes. Secondly, Pakistan must realize its priorities which means focusing on its own interests and not engaging in any foreign conflicts. We have a lot on our plate internally which needs full attention and hard work with all the resources we have got. Iran is our neighbor and a natural partner in trade and defense and common sense is that Iran should not be alienated for short term and short sighted benefits

BAXAR Mar 30, 2017 12:28pm

@AW "The dictatorial regimes and royal families in the middle east and elsewhere are not representative of the Muslim Ummah." Are we living in democracy? If yes, your point is valid, only if yes.

Logical Mar 30, 2017 04:23pm

@RK SINGH Lolx .. thanks for making laugh so hard after long time . I don't know why Indians are so much interested in stuff related to pakistan as thay have 10 times more internal problems then us in army, politics, Naxilites and poority and hunger.

Jawad hussain malik Mar 30, 2017 04:33pm

@RK SINGH Either you are so innocent or still you are living in a fools paradise. If there were really an surgical strike , Indian forces would not have been so reluctant to share it with the rest of the world. India knows that Pakistan is neither Sri lanka nor Bangladesh but a powerful state possessing capacity and capability to ruin her .

Salman Mar 30, 2017 05:13pm

Where is the national law of 2 year break after retirement of generals??

Vijay Reddy Rajput Mar 30, 2017 05:39pm

Good article by the author; very mature and far-thinking. It is best for the world to get the UN to muster a force from armies of member-countries to tackle the problem at hand. Raising an Islamic Force could prompt the raising of a Christian Force or a Jewish Force or some such other religion-based forced and then what? A repeat of the Crusades??

Waseem Mar 30, 2017 06:10pm

@RK SINGH Fake Indian surgical strike has no relevance and no weight against the credibility of raheel sharif.

Rp Mar 30, 2017 09:42pm

A very thought provoking article!

pathanoo Mar 30, 2017 11:09pm

An appropriate Title for an appropriate Army.

shiva Mar 31, 2017 08:50am

Every country has its own problems...friends and enemies. God save the innocents.

CH. K. A. Nye Mar 31, 2017 01:03pm

Parliament is irrelevant when it comes to the KSA or Qatar.

CH. K. A. Nye Mar 31, 2017 01:14pm

@M. Saeed Awan... I wonder why, Saeed sb., that our Shia brothers are opposing this coalition? Any insight please...

Naseem Arif Mar 31, 2017 03:47pm

The world has seen many blocs and military alliances, Warsa Pact and NATO mainly after the second World War. There were military alliances in both the world wars too. In this world of conflicting, and at times, mutual interests, no nation can afford standing neutral. In cold war era, Pakistan tried to stay neutral without joining either bloc and gained nothing. India on the other hand was clever enough to benefit from both the blocs. This a global era. No one can stay aloof from the world or regional developments. And how can Pakistan sustain its neutrality when our rulers have to seek every now and then all sorts of assistance from the Saudi kings . A need has always been felt to raise an Islamic military force comprising Muslim countries. so nothing wrong with this force. So for as the appointment of General Raheel Sharif (Retd) is concerned we as Pakistani should feel proud that Pakistan Army and one of its best general is given the honour of leading this multinational Islamic military force. Its absurd to make unnecessary hue and cry. A Pakistani general, though retired, as the the commander of the force would add to the prestige and stature of Pakistan and its army. Long Live Pakistan! Long Live Pakistan Army! Long Live General Raheel Sharif! This nation owes a lot to owes to the General.

BAXAR Mar 31, 2017 04:38pm

@ CH. K. A. Nye "Parliament is irrelevant when it comes to the KSA or Qatar." It has full capacity to be irrelevant even without KSA, Qatar , or any relevant matter.

zubaida Khan Mar 31, 2017 04:49pm

@SAT hr is retired, not on deputation.

BAXAR Mar 31, 2017 04:49pm

@MC "Pakistan can't afford to have enemies all around it." Don't worry too much about Pakistan, it was born and brought up with enemies all around and within, and will grow old with them . They couldn't do any damage to it's existence. The reason is that the enemies need Pakistan more than Pakistanis themselves. Whenever the time comes for Pakistan to disappear, the world needs it's presence, more than before that time. Just check the history.

BAXAR Mar 31, 2017 04:56pm

@citizen "Suppose if coalition forces plan to bomb and kill innocent poor yemanis under RS" If RS is head of that military, only he can decide to bomb any place. He' not there as fighter pilot or gunner.

CH. K. A. Nye Apr 01, 2017 02:33pm

@Ahmed... Ah Ahmed sb., so it's only about money. Now I get it.