Raheel Sharif briefs PM Khan on counter-terrorism measures

Commander-in-Chief of Islamic Military Alliance against terrorism, General (retired) Raheel Sharif, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Tuesday. During the meeting, they exchanged views on regional peace and stability and discussed matters of mutual interest. (PID)
Updated 12 February 2019
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Raheel Sharif briefs PM Khan on counter-terrorism measures

  • Chief of Saudi-led coalition also discussed the regional security environment
  • Premier reiterates support for peace and stability

ISLAMABAD: Ex-army chief General (retired) Raheel Sharif called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday to discuss the regional security environment and counter-terrorism measures taken by a Saudi-led coalition.
Sharif currently serves as the top commander of the Islamic Military Counter-Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) which was formed in December 2015.
The prime minister, for his part, reiterated that his administration wanted to bring enduring peace and stability to the country by supporting various peace initiatives at the regional level. He also emphasized greater regional cooperation to eradicate violence and extremism.
Earlier in the day, Sharif met with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad. The minister applauded the IMCTC for making substantial contributions to the security of the region.
The coalition, which had 34 members initially, is comprised of 41 now. Sharif, who played a vital role in Pakistan’s war against religious militancy, was nominated as its first commander-in-chief after his retirement, and the coalition has since been striving to eradicate terrorism from the Muslim world under his guidance.


Pakistan gets ready to woo Saudi crown prince

Updated 58 min 31 sec ago
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Pakistan gets ready to woo Saudi crown prince

  • Pakistan is collecting 3,500 pigeons and colorful balloons to release during a welcome ceremony for Saudi Crown Prince
  • Pakistan expects to sign multiple investment deals and other agreements during the two-day visit

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan was rescheduling flights, blocking-off luxury hotels, and — according to one report Friday — collecting 3,500 pigeons and colorful balloons to release during a welcome ceremony for Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Islamabad is hoping to sign a raft of investment deals and other agreements during the two-day visit, which begins Saturday and will include talks with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and the powerful army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Banners heralding the crown prince were already lining the streets of the capital Friday, while the Express Tribune newspaper reported that authorities were trying to catch so many pigeons for a welcome ceremony that they were forced to collect birds from other cities.
Police, the armed forces, and the Saudi Royal Guards will provide security, a senior Islamabad police official told AFP.
The capital’s “red zone,” which houses Parliament House and the Presidency, was to be sealed off, while civil aviation authorities have been told to reschedule flights during the prince’s arrival and departure.
Authorities in the capital said two five-star hotels had been ordered to cancel all advance bookings as the rooms will be reserved for the prince’s entourage.
Earlier in the week local media reported that the crown prince’s personal belongings — including luxury vehicles and his own gym — were flown to Pakistan in two C130 airplanes.
The visit came as regional tensions spiked after neighboring India accused Islamabad of harboring militants behind a deadly attack in Indian-administered Kashmir.
At least 41 paramilitary troops were killed in a suicide blast Thursday, with Indian media reporting that the Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility.
Saudi Arabia is reportedly preparing to sign a record investment package with Pakistan, including a $10-billion refinery and oil complex for the strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.
Pakistan’s foreign office spokesman said Islamabad is seeking to sign a number of other deals, including one “combating organized crime.”
Khan has been courting its Gulf allies for months as he seeks to stave off an ongoing balance of payments crisis and reduce the size of any potential bailout from the International Monetary Fund.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have together offered Islamabad some $30 billion in investment and loans.
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are also participating in talks with the US and other countries seeking to bring the Taliban to the table for peace negotiations with Kabul after more than 17 years of war.
The Taliban have claimed their representatives will visit Islamabad on Monday, after Salman leaves.