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No new appointment is being done on the post of NSA: Pakistan PMO sources

File photo of Pak PM Imran Khan. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India May 21, 2019, 12.50 PM (IST) Anas Mallick

In a major development, the Imran Khan-led Pakistan government has abolished the post of National Security Advisor (NSA), sources in Pakistan Prime Minister's Office have said.

''No new appointment is being done at the position of NSA,'' highly placed sources at Pakistan's Prime Minister office told WION on the condition of anonymity since they were not authorized to speak to media, this was in response to the reports in a section of Pakistani media that claimed that the Imran Khan government is considering to appoint an NSA.

The 27 officials and staff, working under the NSA, have been transferred to different divisions, the sources added.

The post has been vacant since the resignation of Lt Gen R Nasser Janjua in June last year.

The NSA's post was crucial in maintaining relations with different countries, especially Pakistan's neighbour India. Other diplomatic channels and back channels will now be explored with India on matters pertaining to national security, sources said.

The office of the NSA isn't a constitutional post, it is the prerogative of the Prime Minister. The previous government appointed an NSA in place, therefore, a staff was allocated. Now this government didn't feel the need to appoint an NSA, so the staff has been transferred or adjusted into different departments, sources said.

Since assuming the office in August last year, 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 relationship between the two neighbouring 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.

In the past, the two countries often used backchannel through the NSAs to prepare ground for any talks.

In 2015, 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 the composite dialogue.

The leadership of the two countries used their respective NSAs to communicate on important issues.

(With inputs from agencies)

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The 27 officials and staff, working under the NSA, have been transferred to different divisions, the sources added.