The Imran Khan-led Pakistan government is actively considering appointing a National Security Advisor to revive back-channel diplomacy with India to iron out issues hindering the resumption of peace talks between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, official sources said on Sunday.
Since assuming the office in August last year, Prime Minister Imran Khan repeatedly reached out to India for the resumption of peace talks on all outstanding issues. But India has made it clear to Pakistan that terrorism and dialogue will not go hand-in-hand.
The likely appointment of the NSA is meant for reviving the back-channel diplomacy with India to sort out some of the pressing issues between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, the official sources privy to the development was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.
A senior official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the government was likely to appoint a retired military official as the National Security Advisor (NSA). He said certain names were under consideration but no final decision has been taken yet.
The relationship between the two neighboring nations currently is at all-time low after a Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber attacked a CRPF convoy in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14 that killed 40 soldiers.
Now, after completion of general elections in India, Pakistan government is considering options on how to resume talks with India. One of the options for this talk includes appointment of National Security Advisor (NSA). The options include the appointment of NSA to recover the back-channel with India.
In the past Imran Khan had said, “If the next Indian government is led by the opposition Congress party, it might be too scared to seek a settlement with Pakistan over Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK), fearing a backlash from the right.”
Khan had also said that there might be better chance of peace talks with India if PM Modi comeback to power again.
In 2015, Naseer khan, Pakistan’s NSA Lt. General (retd) and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval held meetings in Bangkok leading to the agreement between the two foreign ministers for the continuation of the composite dialogue. The leadership of both countries India and Pakistan used their respective NSAs to communicate on important issues.