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SOURCE: Hindustan Times

Pakistan’s Supreme Court was informed by the attorney general on Tuesday that former army chief Raheel Sharif did not obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the federal cabinet before taking on the job of heading a 41-nation military alliance based in Saudi Arabia.

During the hearing of a suo moto case regarding the dual nationality of civil servants and judges, attorney general Khalid Jawed Khan said that according to the law, the NOC is issued by the federal government to government officers wishing to take up jobs abroad. It is necessary for the NOC to be approved by the cabinet under government service rules, he said.

Khan presented the legal perspective after defence secretary Lt Gen (retired) Zamirul Hassan informed the court that it was the defence ministry which had granted the NOC to Sharif after the General Headquarters cleared him to accept the post of commander of the Islamic Military Counterterrorism Coalition in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking about former Inter-Services Intelligence agency chief Ahmad Shuja Pasha, Hassan told the court that he had informed Pakistani authorities that he is currently unemployed. Pasha was reported to have taken up a private job abroad.

After hearing all sides, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar ordered authorities to place the matter of Sharif’s appointment before the federal cabinet for regular approval, or disapproval.

“We have to proceed according to the law,” Nisar said during the hearing, observing that the government’s authority is controlled by the cabinet. He said the matter was of an urgent nature.

The hearing was adjourned till an unspecified date after the court’s summer vacations as the attorney general and defence secretary sought time to refer the matter of the NOC to the cabinet.