Sending Pak general to lead Saudi-led coalition inappropriate: analyst


ISLAMABAD: A senior Pakistani analyst believes that appointment of former Pak army chief General Raheel Sharif (retd) as Saudi led coalition chief is not appropriate. In an interview with a foreign news agency, Lieutenant General Talat Masood (retd) said the whole coalition is controversial and heading an organization which does not have the full support of Muslim world is not a correct decision to be made.

Defence Minister Kh Muhammad Asif has confirmed the recent development that Gen Raheel was made the chief of Saudi led coalition.

Gen Talat Masood said that this coalition backs Saudi Arabia which is fighting war in Yemen and has its own interests. “There are many countries which are backing Saudi Arabia, but at the same time there are also countries which are opposing Saudi Arabia in Yemen,” he noted.

He said at the personal level, this appointment shows that Gen Raheel Sharif’s services during his three-year tenure as Pak army chief had been lauded and the Saudis appointed him on the basis of his performance, but the fact remains that this appointment has been done by the approval of Pakistani government, so there seems to be sort of approval of military engagement against Yemen by this coalition.

“One should be very careful while engaging in military operation in Yemen especially when there is no unanimity in the Muslim world specially regarding Yemen conflict,” said the analyst.

He was of the opinion that viewed the coalition cannot achieve its targets without key regional countries rather it could become a coalition against each other actually.