PM Imran Khan likely to appoint new NSA to re engage India

PM Imran Khan likely to appoint new NSA to re engage India

ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan is likely to appoint new National Security Advisor to re engage India.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is actively considering appointing a National Security Adviser (NSA).

The likely appointment of NSA is meant for reviving the backchannel diplomacy with India to sort out some of the pressing issues between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, according to official sources privy to the development.

Since assuming the top office in August last year, Imran Khan repeatedly reached out to India for the resumption of peace talks on all outstanding issues. The Modi administration, however, spurned those offers. Any hope for reengagement dealt a fatal blow when India sent fighter jets into Pakistan following the Pulwama attack in February.

The two countries were on the brink of a war when Pakistan retaliated with airstrikes on the Indian side. While the two countries pulled back from the brink after hectic efforts of influential countries, Pakistan decided not to make any further overtures till the elections in India are over.

Now, the almost two-month long election exercise is over, the government is considering options on how to resume talks with India.

One of the options includes the appointment of NSA to revive the backchannel with India. In the past, the two countries often used backchannel through NSAs to prepare ground for any talks.

In 2015, Pakistani NSA Lt General (retd) Naseer Khan Janjua and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval were instrumental in breaking the ice. The two held meetings in Bangkok leading to the agreement between the two foreign ministers for the resumption of composite dialogue.