RIYADH – Pakistan’s ex-army chief General (r) Raheel Sharif has said the Saudi-led Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) will act as a platform to assist member countries in their counter terrorism operations through intelligence sharing and capacity building.
Sharif, who is also the commander-in-chief of the military coalition, was speaking at IMCTC’s first Ministers of Defence Council being held under the theme of ‘Allied Against Terrorism’ in Riyadh.
“A number of our member countries are under tremendous pressure while fighting well established terrorist organisations due to capacity shortages of their armed forces and law enforcement agencies,” said Gen (r) Sharif at the event.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday opened the first high-level meeting of a kingdom-led coalition of Muslim nations against terrorism in the Saudi capital.
Addressing the defense ministers and other high-ranking officials, the prince said that Sunday’s meeting sends “a strong signal that we are going to work together and coordinate together to support each other.”
However, the alliance doesn’t include Iran, Iraq or Syria, while member nation Qatar sent no one to attend the one-day Riyadh gathering amid a diplomatic standoff between Doha and four Arab nations led by the kingdom.
“The biggest danger of this terrorism and extremism is the tarnishing of our beloved religion’s reputation […] We will not allow this to happen,” said the royal who has been the driving force behind this coalition. “Today, we start the pursuit of terrorism and we see its defeat in many facets around, the world especially in Muslim countries. We will continue to fight it until we see its defeat.”