Islamabad: Retired Lieutenant General Nasser Khan Janjua has been appointed as the new National Security Advisor (NSA) of Pakistan, signalling the powerful army’s increasing grip on security affairs of the country and its dealings with India.

The government on Thursday notified the appointment of Janjua as the NSA, devesting the position from the mild-mannered Sartaj Aziz who will now concentrate on foreign affairs.

“Janjua’s appointment has been confirmed and his status will be equal to the minister of a state,” an official said.

Gen. Janjua had retired earlier this month as chief of Southern Command which is based at Quetta in Balochistan province.

Till now, Sartaz Aziz, 86, had been holding dual offices of

NSA and Adviser on Foreign Affairs, with status of a federal minister.

The appointment of the new NSA will help Aziz to concentrate on diplomatic affairs which were being ignored due to his hectic engagement as per demand of the dual offices, officials said.

Gen. Janjua’s office will be based at the PM Secretariat instead of the Foreign Office as speculated earlier.

His appointment will increase army’s hold on the security affairs of the country.

Gen. Janjua’s immediate task will be to concentrate on security ties with India in the east and Afghanistan in the west.

He would lead any NSA-level talks with New Delhi if and when held in the light of Ufa declaration.

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