The Senate on Monday sought explanation and briefing from the government on General (retried) Raheel Sharif’s appointment as head of the 39-nation Islamic military alliance.

Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani asked Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif to brief the upper house on the issue days after the latter confirmed that the former army chief had taken up the job.

The Senate chairman sought a detailed briefing from the defence minister on the appointment, and asked him to inform the upper house whether General (retired) Raheel Sharif sought permission to take the assignment abroad.

Asif was further asked to explain whether a No Objection Certificate (NOC) was issued to the former army chief. The defence minister sought time from the Senate chairman and said that he would inform the upper house in this regard.

Asif had on Friday disclosed that the decision to appoint General (retired) Raheel Sharif, who retired in November 2016, was taken after taking the incumbent government into confidence and “it was finalised here first”.

“As you are aware that this thing was in the pipeline for quite some time and the prime minister was also part of the deliberations,” the defence minister had said.

The Saudi government had last year surprised many countries by announcing that it had forged a coalition for coordinating and supporting military operations against terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan.