Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said he believes that Gen (Retd.) Raheel Sharif would consult the federal government and fulfil all his legal and constitutional obligations before taking up the role to head the 39-nation Islamic coalition force formed to combat terrorism. “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,” the Dawn quoted Dar as saying on Monday during an interview.
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“Knowing Gen Raheel Sharif, (I can say that) he will leave nothing [up] in the air and will fulfil the prerequisites,” he added. 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. 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 the latter would make its acceptance subject to the condition that he fulfils his obligations to the Constitution.
He agreed that the former army chief would need the government’s approval to take up the role before the expiry of a two-year restriction on his post-service employment.The Finance Minister, however, refrained from giving an opinion on the matter, saying that he will be in the core group where the development will be discussed.
“That decision is going to be taken by the government, obviously,” he said.