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Govt asked to explain Gen Sharif’s post as chief of Saudi-led alliance
Tuesday, 10 January 2017
Govt asked to explain Gen Sharif’s post as chief of Saudi-led alliance

Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani directly asked the government on Monday whether former army chief Gen Raheel Sharif had sought permission from the federal government or taken it into confidence over his reported appointment as commander of the 39-nation Saudi-led military alliance.

The government is expected to respond tomorrow.

The Senate chairman also asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to clarify what would be the implications of the decision in terms of foreign policy and its effect on a decision, taken at the joint sitting of parliament, not to become part of any such alliance.

There has so far been no official confirmation of the fact that Gen Sharif will assume command of the alliance.

On Monday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar indicated the government is unaware of the general’s reported decision.

Also on Monday, the upper house unanimously adopted an amendment to the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) law, which makes it obligatory for the authority’s executive committee to meet at least once in three months to oversee the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP).

The authority has two principal bodies, namely the board headed by the prime minister for policy guidelines, and the executive committee headed by the interior minister for the implementation of those policies.

The amendment moved by PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar makes it mandatory for the executive committee to meet and oversee policy implementation involving all stakeholders in all provinces.
The Senate also passed the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill 2015, moved by Senator Sassui Palijo, aimed at restructuring the regulator.

Under the bill, the authority will consist of four members, one from each of the four provinces, to be appointed by the federal government in consultation with the provincial governments concerned.

The chairperson shall be appointed from among the members for a period of one year, by rotation.

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