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Saudi Arabia mulls NATO-like military alliance of Muslim countries, asks Pakistan to lead

For the alliance, one of the targets would be the Islamic State terror group.


Saudi Arabia mulls NATO-like military alliance of Muslim countries, asks Pakistan to lead
Leaders of the Muslim world watch the North Thunder military exercises in Hafr Al-Baten, Saudi Arabia

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has mooted a military alliance of Islamic countries on the lines of the North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in order to tackle the growing menace of terrorism.

Pakistani TV channel Dunya News reported on its website that the proposed alliance is not targeted against any particular country but aimed at tackling terrorism.

For the alliance, one of the targets would be the Islamic State terror group.

Pakistan is already onboard and it has been asked to lead the initiative as well as prepare the framework for the proposed military alliance, which is likely to have 34 Muslim-majority nations as members.

The news comes close on the heels of Saudi Arabia hosting a massive joint military exercise. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief General Raheel Sharif had travelled to Saudi Arabia to witness the three-day 'North Thunder' military exercise in which forces of 21 Muslim nations took part.

That exercise focussed on better preparing for a terror attack.

 

It is unlikely that Iran would be part of the alliance (which will likely comprise Sunni-majority Muslim countries), which many are already seeing as a counterweight to the Shia Muslim-majority nation.

The development also comes in the backdrop of relations between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia souring of late.

Saudi Arabia has also come under criticism for its military operation in Yemen targeted at Houthi rebels. Many civilians have lost their lives in air strikes carried out by the Kingdom's Air Force.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was first agreed upon in 1949 with an aim to combat the threat of the Soviet Union at the start of the Cold War.

From Zee News

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