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Ex-general Janjua appointed NSA: sources

Updated October 19, 2015

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─ Photo: Syed Ali Shah/File
─ Photo: Syed Ali Shah/File

ISLAMABAD: Lieutenant General (retd) Nasir Khan Janjua has been appointed National Security Adviser (NSA) but Sartaj Aziz will likely retain his foreign affairs portfolio, well placed sources told Dawn.com.

The decision was made in principle during high-level consultations between Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last week, and a summary in this regard was signed by the PM prior to his departure for a four-day official visit to the United States.

A notification is expected to be issued within the next 24 hours.

Janjua will be the second military official to hold the post after Major General (retd) Mehmood Durrani who was NSA during the last PPP government.

It is unclear as to why the sudden change in post is being made, though some military sources are speculating the decision was made so that Aziz could focus his attention entirely on foreign affairs.

Janjua will be elevated to the position of minister of state, and his office will be relocated to Prime Minister's Office.

His appointment follows cooling relations between Pakistan and India, who were due to hold talks in August but these were cancelled after India said it wanted to limit the scope of the talks to Pakistan's alleged support for militancy on Indian territory and Pakistan insisted on more wide-ranging discussions.

Lt Gen (retd) Janjua held the post of Southern Command Quetta before he retired earlier this month.

Before that, Janjua was president of the National Defence University, the military's higher education institute and premier think-tank on national security matters.

He also worked on 'Azm-i-Nau,' a military preparedness exercise that had a particular focus on India.

─ Correction: An earlier version of this story had incorrectly stated that a notification would be issued after the Prime Minister's return from US, and that the NSA would be sitting at the MOFA. The error is regretted.