ISLAMABAD - Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani Tuesday said that Saudi-led Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) is a strong and coordinated response to terrorist forces which are bent upon creating chaos and uncertainty in societies and a hurdle in the smooth developmental process.

The chairman Senate expressed these views in a meeting with former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and now Commander-in-Chief IMCTC General (Retd) Raheel Sharif who called on the former along with his delegation at Parliament House.

A delegation of the 41-nation Saudi-led IMCTC led by Gen (Retd) Raheel Sharif is on a two-day visit to Pakistan ahead of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s scheduled trip to Islamabad that will start from this weekend.

The Senate chairman underscored said that the coalition was not against any state, nation or a particular sect; however, it aims to counter terrorism and eliminate it by further augmenting the ongoing efforts.  Sanjrani said that terrorism had no place in any religion or belief and peaceful coexistence was the only way forward to expedite the pace for regional development and making the world a better place to live. 

According to a statement issued by the Senate Secretariat, the chairman Senate especifically lauded the efforts of IMCTC under the leadership of Raheel Sharif in promoting peace and eliminating terrorism. He observed that Pakistan wanted peaceful solution to all the issues as peace guaranteed growth and prosperity. “Dialogue is the only solution to our problems and we must engage in constructive dialogue to give peace a chance to flourish thus overcoming poverty and doing away with the economic imbalance,” he said. During the meeting, the senators appreciated the efforts of IMCTC and assured their cooperation and support for further strengthening it.

Commander-in-Chief of IMCTC briefed the Senate delegation about the aims and objectives of the coalition. He said that Pakistan had played a vital role in fighting terrorism and IMCTC was a platform to eliminate terrorism and promote efforts aimed at peace at regional and global level.  He said that not only the Muslim countries but other nations could also benefit from this alliance.

“Raheel Sharif actually briefed us that what are the objectives to form the coalition, what would be its mandate as well as working and which countries are part of that,” Senator Javed Abbasi, who was part of the meeting, told the Nation. Mr Sharif briefed us about the areas of counter terrorism on which this coalition would work and also shared a working paper with the Senate chairman, he added. “He assured that the coalition was not against any country or region but only to counter increasing terrorism among the Muslim community,” he said. We were briefed that even this coalition had separated itself from the Yemen crisis, Senator Abbasi also said.

The meeting was attended by Leader of the House in Senate Shibli Faraz besides other senators including Dilawar Khan, Khanzada Khan, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, Saleem Zia, Muhammad Javed Abbasi, Manzoor Ahmad Kakar, Muhammad Ahmad Khan, and Lt. General (Retd) Abdul Qayyum.

This is the maiden visit of a delegation of Islamic military coalition to Pakistan and the delegation during its stay in Islamabad held important meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain.

Saudi media team calls on Asad

APP adds: The visiting Saudi media delegation called on Finance Minister Asad Umar here on Tuesday, who shared with them the present government’s ongoing drive for macroeconomic stabilisation and strengthening of economy.

The minister said Pakistan offered multiple opportunities for foreign investors and welcomed Saudi companies to invest in various sectors in Pakistan including petro-chemicals and mining sector.

He made special mention of the oil refinery project envisaged by the Saudi side in Pakistan and said it will have a lasting impact on Pakistan’s economy both in terms of investment and growth.

The minister said that both countries are now focused on providing opportunities to the youth to enable them play a key role in socio-economic development. He also welcomed Saudi participation in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects.

The Saudi media delegation shared with the minister their impressions about the visit to Pakistan and said they were eager to see the economic cooperation between the two countries develop to greater heights.