Govt grants NOC to ex-army chief Raheel Sharif


The federal government on Friday granted a no-objection certificate (NOC) to former Chief of Army Staff General (r) Raheel Sharif, allowing him to remain as head of the 41-nation military alliance initiated by the Saudi government.

According to media reports, the federal cabinet approved the NOC for Raheel Sharif in its recent meeting.

The Supreme Court had earlier granted one-month time to the federal cabinet to decide over the matter of NOC. A report pertaining to the matter has been submitted in the apex court, the reports added.

In December 2018, the top court had ruled that the foreign employment of the former army chief shall cease with immediate effect if he is not granted the NOC by the federal cabinet within a duration of one month.

According to the detailed judgement issued by the apex court in dual nationality case, the apex court had directed that only federal cabinet can grant permission to an ex-government servant to seek or take up employment as an officer or servant of a foreign government, according to the law laid down by the court.

In a 52-page verdict as the court wrapped up the case, the three members bench headed by then chief justice Saqib Nisar directed the government not to appoint dual nationals at top posts as “they [may] pose threat to the national interest”. It suggested formulation of relevant laws to stop dual nationals from working on top government posts.

“According to the law laid down by the court, only the federal cabinet can grant permission to an ex-government servant to seek or take up employment as an officer or servant of a foreign government,” the court said in the verdict.

The court was earlier informed that Gen (r) Raheel was granted NOC by the Ministry of Defence and army’s General Headquarters (GHQ).


In 2017, the appointment of Gen (r) Raheel as the leader of the Saudi military alliance had sparked concerns over how the action would impact Pakistan’s foreign policy, and whether it was fully sanctioned by the parliament.

The 41-nation armed coalition was initially proposed as a platform for security cooperation among Muslim countries and included provisions for training, equipment and troops, and the involvement of religious scholars for devising a counter-terrorism narrative.

Various quarters subsequently raised concerns about the nature of the alliance and how it may affect a pre-existing parliamentary resolution on Yemen passed unanimously by lawmakers calling for “neutrality in the conflict” in 2015.

The then defence minister Khurram Dastagir had later informed the Senate that the alliance will not take part in “unrelated military operations”.