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Senators demand Saudi-led coalition’s ToRs be presented before parliament – Pakistan

Expressing concerns over the terms of reference (ToRs) of the Saudi-led Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) being kept secret, senators on Friday demanded that parliament be apprised of the particulars of the military alliance.

The inaugural meeting of the IMCTC was held in Saudi Arabia last month, with former Army chief Raheel Sharif being handed its command. Representatives of 40 nations were in attendance.

PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar complained that when asked about the reservations of Iran on the Saudi-led coalition, the Foreign Office had said that it was unaware of any and would reply after talking to the authority on the matter. “Just who is this authority?” Babar asked.

He also stated that parliament and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were being kept in the dark about Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s recent visits to Iran.

“One institution is formulating policy on its own, regarding which even the Foreign Office is unaware,” he remarked, requesting Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani to give a ruling on the issue and summon the foreign minister.

Responding to Senator Babar’s request, Rabbani said: “I will go missing before March 12 if I give a ruling on this.”

He also took the opportunity to rubbish some senators’ comments about the parliament having gotten “weaker than the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC).”

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