Former Army Chief General Raheel Sharif (retd) will highlight Pakistan Army’s counter-insurgency operations and improved security environment in the country at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting today (Tuesday) at Davos, Switzerland. This is the first time that a former army chief of Pakistan has been invited to speak at the WEF annual meeting in his personal capacity as a paid speaker, according to sources.
General Raheel Sharif (retd) has already reached Davos on the invitation of WEF’s Executive Chairman Professor Klaus Schwab and will be sharing his experience of leading the major counter-terrorism operations against foreign and local militants during his tenure as the Chief of Army Staff.
Raheel Sharif is one of the speakers of WEF’ in the session on “terrorism in the digital age” and the topic of discussion: fragmented struggles against al Qaeda, Daesh and Boko Haram; responsible leadership in international security and resilience to the global network”.
Terrorist organisations are using increasingly sophisticated digital networks to signal allegiance to a wider movement, attack their enemies and manage resources. “How can leaders respond to the threat of terrorism in the digital age?”, is the key question of the session in which Raheel Sharif will be speaking along with other speakers including Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor, University of Oxford, Jean-Paul Laborde, Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director, Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, United Nations, Rob Wainwright, Director, Europol (European Police Office), Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, Chairman, King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, and Yemi Osinbajo, Vice-President of Nigeria.
Raheel Sharif served as the 15th COAS from Nov 29, 2013 till November 29, 2016 and carried out a successful operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan against terrorists. According to Lieutenant General Talat Masood (retd), a senior defence analyst, “Pakistan wants to share its experience in counter-terrorism with the rest of the world which would also provide an opportunity to get global recognition of Pakistan’s sacrifices in the ongoing war against militancy.”
He said that Raheel Sharif’s presentation to the forum would also be helpful in removing the world’s doubts over the ongoing military operation against the militants, given the “do more” mantra of United States and Afghanistan.Although, the US and Afghanistan are still pressing Pakistan to “do more” against “terrorists’ havens” in the tribal areas, yet the world also recognizes the decline in terrorism in the country due to the operations, he added.
Lieutenant General Amjad Shoaib (retd) stated that Raheel Sharif is no more a government functionary and he is expected to openly respond to the blame game at the forum including Indian allegations of cross-border terrorism.
He said that it would a good opportunity to present Pakistan’s point of view on counter-terrorism by a former army chief who led a successful operation along the Pak-Afghan border, which also benefited war-torn Afghanistan as well as the US. “It’s a golden opportunity for Raheel Sharif to pose some serious questions to the world, which is blaming Pakistan for hosting ‘terrorist havens’ Afghanistan itself has become a hub of terrorism, constituting 45 percent land occupied by the terrorists”, he said, adding the US which always pressurises Pakistan to ‘do more” should also share its progress in the Afghan war for the last 16 years. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif left for Davos on Monday with an official delegation at the taxpayers’ expense to attend the WEF’s annual meeting from Jan 17 to 20, 2017 under the theme “Responsive and Responsible Leadership”. -Business Recorder