International News

Military Alliance Targeting Terror, Not Any Country, Sect: Raheel

Former Pakistan Army chief Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif, now the commander of the Saudi-led Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC), said on Sunday that the alliance’s sole objective was to counter terrorism and it was not against any country or sect.
All individual states are making efforts against the menace of terrorism, but the required level of synergy and resources is lacking,” he said at the inaugural meeting of the coalition’s ministers of defence in Riyadh, according to a statement issued by Pakistan’s ministry of defence.
The IMCTC will support its partners mainly through intelligence sharing and capacity building, he added.
He noted that the Muslim world had suffered the most because of the menace of terrorism and in the last six years alone, more than 70 per cent of all deaths attributed to terrorism, had occurred in Muslim countries.
The fight against a faceless enemy with an extremist ideology is complex and challenging, requiring collaboration. Pakistan has turned the tide and has has defeated the menace,” he remarked.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman opened the meeting of the IMCTC’s ministers of defence.
In his speech, Prince Mohammed reaffirmed the 41-country coalition’s firm commitment to battle terrorism.
We will not allow them [terrorists] to distort our peaceful religion.Today we are sending a strong message that we are working together to fight terrorism.”
The meeting is held under the slogan “allied against terrorism”. This is the first time the coalition meets in the Saudi capital city which established the coalition around two years ago.
Today we affirm that we will pursue terrorism until it is eradicated completely,” the crown price added.
An Al Arabiya correspondent reported that the coalition’s military commander, Raheel Sharif, would discuss military-related affairs, such as securing resources, exchanging military information and encouraging member states to build strengthen military capabilities to combat terrorism and deter violence.
The meeting is being attended by the coalition’s ministers of defence, envoys and delegations from supporting countries and experts in the field of the coalition’s work. It will discuss means to combat the financing of terrorism and specify future frameworks to unify efforts to eliminate terrorism and maintain international peace and security.