Senators on Tuesday raised questions over the role of former army chief Raheel Sharif in the Saudi military alliance after they were told that the coalition has yet to take formal shape.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, speaking on the matter, had told the Senate that the ToRs governing the operations of the Islamic military alliance had not been finalised as yet.

"There must be a meeting between member nations in order for the ToRs to be finalised, which has not been possible," he said while assuring that parliament would be briefed regarding the ToRs as soon as they took shape.

However, lawmakers responded to his statement by questioning why the former army chief had been sent to Saudi Arabia if the ToRs were still unclear, with Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani questioning why Sharif was in Saudi Arabia if he was not yet leading any army.

Rabbani further asked how the government had deemed it okay to send a former army chief — who has knowledge of the country's nuclear secrets — to a sensitive area without even knowing what he would be doing there.

"What if the ToRs are not in the interest of Pakistan's national security? What will you do then? You have already sent Raheel Sharif to Saudi Arabia," he said.

Senator Farhatullah Babar asked why Raheel Sharif had announced 10 months prior to his retirement that he would not be looking for an extension in his tenure as army chief.

"What was the purpose of making the announcement so far in advance," he asked, "particularly if no offers had been made to him at that point?"

Babar asked whether Sharif wished to signal his availability post-retirement to Saudi Arabia and whether the announcement was made for the benefit of the Saudi leadership.

The senator called for an investigation into the matter.

Senator Ilyas Bilour said Pakistani lawmakers would not allow there to be any sectarian conflict in the country while asserting that ToRs against Iran would not be acceptable.

"The country will be destroyed if there is sectarian conflict," he warned.

Opinion

Intolerance grows
Updated 18 Oct 2021

Intolerance grows

Failure to pass the bill undermines the writ of the state, highlights its inability to guarantee citizens’ protection and freedom.
Moral panic
Updated 18 Oct 2021

Moral panic

If conflation of culture with religion is taken as true, there is mounting evidence that society has gone closer to such roots.
Challenges amid discord
Updated 18 Oct 2021

Challenges amid discord

Institutional disharmony and polarised politics are impeding efforts to address the country’s challenges.
Climate & youth
Updated 17 Oct 2021

Climate & youth

Disillusionment and anxiety are on the rise among youth as they confront the diminishing prospects of a better tomorrow.

Editorial

Financial troubles
Updated 18 Oct 2021

Financial troubles

Growing trade gap is fuelling the current account deficit and bringing the already meagre foreign exchange reserves under stress.
18 Oct 2021

Complaint portal

IN a ruling on Thursday, the Mingora bench of the Peshawar High Court held that the Prime Minister’s Performance...
18 Oct 2021

Capital’s master plan

IT is encouraging that on Thursday, the restructured commission formed by the federal cabinet to revise ...
Carnage in Kandahar
Updated 17 Oct 2021

Carnage in Kandahar

Pakistan’s anti-extremism policy is in many ways half-baked and inconsistent.
17 Oct 2021

Sanctity of contracts

PAKISTAN is facing yet another international dispute before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment...
17 Oct 2021

New sports policy

THIS week, the Pakistan Football Federation Normalisation Committee chief Haroon Malik was in Zurich to hold ...