Disgruntled Baloch leaders, Altaf also on agenda; Lt Gen (retd) Janjua tipped as new national security adviser
In an upcoming meeting in London, Pakistan’s security czar is likely to discuss with the British government how the two countries could cooperate for a counterterrorism programme. “The two countries seek to engage extremists in anti-extremism schemes as part of a raft of new measures to cope with rising extremism in both countries,” said an official.
After discussing Pakistan’s National Action Plan (NAP) with the US administration, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan will leave for London to take up the issues of disgruntled Baloch leaders, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief and counterterrorism programmes.
Encouraging signs: Talks under way with Baloch leaders, says Nisar
Nisar and National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz will give a detailed presentation in Washington on NAP, Operation Zarb-e-Azb, India’s alleged involvement in Balochistan’s affairs, the stalled Pakistan-India talks and the Afghan peace process.
The interior minister and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are scheduled to leave for their three-day US trip on Monday. The premier is slated to meet President Barack Obama at the White House to discuss the looming threats from the ultra-extremist Islamic State and other regional issues.
In US, Nawaz will expose India’s terror sponsorship
Nisar’s key visit comes weeks after Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif met UK’s senior civilian and military leadership in London to explore ‘how the UK could help Pakistan fight insurgency’.
The interior minister’s visit is expected to focus on deradicalisation, soft laws, countering extremism and terrorism, elements of NAP and the role of international non-governmental organisations operating in Pakistan. Nisar, who is scheduled to reach London on October 24, would also update his British counterpart and other officials on MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s ‘derogatory speeches’ and Baloch Liberation Army chief Hyrbyair Marri’s statements about Balochistan.
Terror networks operating from Pakistani soil dismantled: Nisar
Lt Gen Janjua next NSA
The government will soon appoint Lt Gen (retd) Nasir Janjua as the new, full-time NSA, officials said on Sunday. “The army chief feels that Aziz’s attention is divided,” said a military source.
A senior official at the PM’s Office said Janjua’s imminent appointment as NSA was aimed at handling the insurgency in Balochistan and engaging disgruntled leaders – something the general has vast experience of during his two-year stint as head of the Southern Command.
Ex-general Naseer Khan Janjua to be appointed new national security adviser
Former federal secretary Lt Gen (retd) Talat Masood termed it a positive development. “The two governments can cooperate to fight their common enemies (extremism and terrorism). British authorities have realised the importance of Pakistan’s experience in deradicalisation.”
He said the UK could also play a major role in persuading the Baloch dissidents residing in London to join the reconciliation process.
Regarding a possible meeting of any government functionary with the disgruntled leaders abroad, he said: “It is very much possible.” To resolve the issue, a ‘direct meeting has to take place’.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2015.