ISLAMABAD -  Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair Thursday said former army chief Raheel Sharif – who is set to lead the Saudi Arabia-led multi-nation military alliance – was just an ordinary general and not larger than life.

Speaking to journalists here after addressing a business summit, he said the 100 percent credit for peace in Karachi went to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. “Even his (Raheel Sharif’s) job as head of the Saudi-led alliance is being portrayed as something extraordinary. In reality, it should be his prerogative as a normal person,” Zubair said.

The Governor said General Sharif, who retired in November, was a ‘normal general’ like other generals.  “If we make him larger than life, it will create problems for him. We should not be unfair to him,” he added.

The government earlier granted a No Objection Certificate to Raheel Sharif to lead the Saudi-led military alliance. Besides Pakistan, Nigeria, Turkey, Bahrain, Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, Libya, Malaysia, Egypt and Jordan are also part of the 39-nation alliance.

The alliance was formed by Saudi Arabia in December 2015 with its headquarters in Riyadh. Iran had objected to the formation of the alliance fearing it was a Sunni-alliance rather than a Muslim alliance. The government had also delayed approval to Raheel Sharif – considering Iran’s objections — for several months before finally giving a nod to the former army chief.

Pakistan has already told Iran it will not become part of any grouping against Iran as it believed in close ties with the neighbour. Islamabad has been trying to convince Tehran that the Saudi-led military alliance was not sectarian. Foreign ministry officials said since Pakistan valued its ties with both Saudi Arabia and Iran, it could not annoy any one of them.

Zubair said the media gave credit of all achievements to Raheel Sharif, adding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif deserved credit for the Karachi operation and peace.

“All the stakeholders were there for years. We should give credit to PM Nawaz Sharif for his achievements. General Raheel Sharif was no Allama (Mohammed) Iqbal who dreamed of peace in Karachi and it happened,” the Governor said.

He claimed Nawaz Sharif made the Karachi operation possible after coming to power in June 2013. “The PM made the difference. He made tough decisions which brought results,” he said.

He said as a ‘normal person’ Raheel Sharif had the ‘prerogative’ to join the Saudi-led military alliance and the critics should not comment too much on the issue.

He said the only two examples Pakistan had of successful operations were the recent Karachi operation and the operation Zarb-e-Azb.

The Governor said the government’s decision to act against Muttahida Qaumi Movement Founder Altaf Hussain paved the way to reduce crime rate in Karachi. “The Interior Minister (Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan) issued a red warrant against Altaf Hussain. Imran Farooq murder trial was initiated. The Interior Minister has been seeking United Kingdom’s help against Altaf Hussain. These are the steps that need to be acknowledged,” he added.

The Governor said the federal government will continue its efforts to ensure peace in Karachi until there is zero crime rate.

Questioned about the awaited Panamagate verdict by the Supreme Court, Zubair said: “It should come soon. The longer it takes, the more it will hurt the economy.” He cited the ‘adverse impact’ of the Panamagate scandal on the stock market, adding the foreign investors had also put their investment plans on hold as the verdict is pending with the top court.