Ex-general Naseer Khan Janjua to be appointed new national security adviser

Published: October 18, 2015
Lieutenant General (retd) Naseer Khan Janjua. PHOTO: DEFENCE.PK

Lieutenant General (retd) Naseer Khan Janjua. PHOTO: DEFENCE.PK

KARACHI: The government is about to appoint a former general as the new national security adviser, officials said on Sunday.

Lieutenant General Naseer Khan Janjua, who retired from the military this week, will be appointed national security adviser soon and will accompany Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his trip to the United States next week, one military official and two civilians said.

The post is currently held by Sartaj Aziz, who also holds the portfolio for foreign affairs.

Read: Top civil-military huddle ‘finalises agenda’ of India dialogue

“The army chief feels Sartaj Sahib’s attention is divided,” a military source said. “So it has been decided that General Janjua will be appointed the national security adviser and Sartaj Aziz can give his full attention to the foreign office.”

“This is not about the PM conceding to the army chief or the army being a bully, not at all. This is about both sides deciding together.”

A military spokesperson declined to comment.

PM Nawaz swept into office in 2013 vowing to improve relations between Pakistan and India.

“The army had advised the PM against engaging Modi but he (Nawaz) had insisted that he would pursue peace talks,” the official said. “He is very disappointed by Modi’s response and he has realised that perhaps the advice he got then was correct.”

Read: Indian aggression: AJK PM leads rally against LoC firing

A senior minister in premier’s cabinet said the army chief had pushed Janjua’s appointment “for many months,” although Nawaz had preferred to keep his own man, Aziz.

“Now the army chief has convinced the prime minister that the military and the government must … work together,” the minister said.

Janjua’s appointment follows cooling relations between Pakistan and India, who were due to hold talks in August but canceled after India said it wanted to limit the scope of the talks to terrorism and Pakistan insisted on more wide-ranging discussions.

“General Janjua will go to Afghanistan for talks. He will go to the US And yes, when Pakistan-India (national security advisor) level talks resume, it will be General Janjua at the table,” the military official said.

Two senior government officials said that Janjua was respected for his previous posting in Balochistan.

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

He also worked on ‘Azm-e-Nau,’ a military preparedness exercise that had a particular focus on India.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • Point
    Oct 18, 2015 - 8:53PM

    One of the best decisions ever. We need a strong powerful person on this seat. We don’t need kind and calm people on this seat. We need people who can force back a befitting reply.
    Thank You Raheel Sharif. You are really the worse nightmares for many sympathizers in our govt. who have no guts to response properly due to having business across the bordersRecommend

  • akram
    Oct 18, 2015 - 8:55PM

    Thank God.
    It is only the Army that is holding our country together.
    It makes sense that the National Security Advisor is from the army.
    I am not too comfortable with NS have civilians as National security advisor.

  • Intel
    Oct 18, 2015 - 9:00PM

    Great decision. Gen. Naseer has an excellent repute.Recommend

  • Bilal
    Oct 18, 2015 - 9:06PM

    Giant move.A good one.Recommend

  • sam
    Oct 18, 2015 - 9:06PM

    The guy is very well respected. Pakistan is putting professionals now. Recommend

  • Bilal Khan
    Oct 18, 2015 - 9:21PM

    He is a great man and due to his tremendous services for Balochistan, now we are seeing brighten and peaceful balochistan. Recommend

  • Saad
    Oct 18, 2015 - 9:45PM

    Good move. Sartaj sb is nearly 90 now. This will inject some youth and energy. Recommend

  • Ali
    Oct 18, 2015 - 9:52PM

    How does the Army Chief feel about Fatemi’s performance?Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Oct 18, 2015 - 10:21PM

    Fire Fatmi too and move the Foreign Office to Pindi. Why waste money on these babus?Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Oct 18, 2015 - 11:32PM

    A General can be strong for us but for foreign countries he is just another Pakistani official. His strength outside Pakistan is his knowledge, smartness, diplomatic qualification and negotiation skills. In rest of the world civilians have proved that they are better deal makers but in Pakistan civilians are second class people as they have small weapons and Generals have big weapons.Recommend

  • GKA
    Oct 19, 2015 - 12:53AM

    Pakistan is ruled by the army, for the army. Civilians need to understand thier place. The role of the civilians is to support the army in its fight against India, for Kashmir, and the Red FortRecommend

  • vinsin
    Oct 19, 2015 - 1:26AM

    Wow Nazam Sethi already predicted this. Pakistan is now going to be a security state.Recommend

  • hamza khan
    Oct 19, 2015 - 3:16AM

    excellent excellent decision. cannot say enough about what gen janjua did to thwart hegemonic foreign designs in balochistan. hoping he can give good sane advice to the the PM and that he is respected for it. well done army. Recommend

  • Zahid
    Oct 19, 2015 - 3:37AM

    Excellent decision, General Nasser is a gentlemanRecommend

  • hari
    Oct 19, 2015 - 8:06AM

    Modi transforming Pak according to his wish. Master stroke of appointment of Ajith Doval as NSA producing reactionary response which India wants.Recommend

  • kksr
    Oct 19, 2015 - 8:25AM

    Why have elections when the elected PM cannot decide his team?Recommend

  • adeel
    Oct 19, 2015 - 4:20PM

    Frankly speaking, I feel awkward. a general retiring in a week and taking over a political, civilian billet without the mandatory 2-3 years abeyance from politics for military officers just does not feels kosher.

    does anybody else feels the same way too ?Recommend

  • Fawad khan
    Oct 19, 2015 - 7:11PM

    So our Prime Minister has now formally handed over our foreign ministry to the Army. Good job Prime Minister. Maybe it is time for you to retire.Recommend

  • Wow
    Oct 19, 2015 - 8:56PM

    No body is surprised. The world knows that Pakistan is ruled by its military. Imran and others complain about rigged elections, but a fair election would have yielded the same government, run by the military. Furthermore, from the comments here, it is clear that the military is people’s first choice. Who needs democracy any way?Recommend

  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    Oct 19, 2015 - 9:44PM

    Personally I have no grudge against Gen, or, I have no sympathy for Sartaj either (both are unknown to me) but as a Pakistan few questions do need answers. Why our national exchequer is being burdened with additional expense when since long years we are borrowing from IMF/WB? Did anyone count how many ministers, state ministers, advisors and special assistants already we have? Why Sartaj Aziz held this post when he was not competent enough to be advisor on national security? Where did Sartaj err which necessitated that national security be taken off from him? Did we punish the one who for over 2 years could not know that Sartaj is not fit to be advisor on national security? Should I construe that rest are all competent otherwise they too have been chucked off? Doesn’t our Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff advice government? Aren’t our Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force advisors also? Who enlightens me, if not annoying? Ehsan hoga. Iqbal Hadi ZaidiRecommend

  • King Julian
    Oct 20, 2015 - 6:36AM

    Civilians are good but right now we need Army personal on this position because they know security issues (better than us). Great move. Pakistan zindabad Recommend

  • Hamza Khan
    Oct 20, 2015 - 2:13PM

    Normally, I would be against the appointment of any military general in civilian ranks, but Janjua sahab is a clear exception. His performance has been exceptional as the second-in-command to Gen. Raheel Sharif and he has played the central role in improving the security situation in Balochistan. But more importantly, he is an outstanding administrator who enjoys a great rapport with both military and civilians, much like Gen. Raheel himself. Recommend

  • Ayesha
    Oct 20, 2015 - 4:56PM

    finally we are moving towards a right direction.Recommend

  • Bairooni Haath
    Oct 20, 2015 - 5:34PM

    I think the Pakistani commentors are missing the point. The discussion is not about how qualified Gen. Janjua is for the job or how Magnificent Gen. Raheel Shareef is. The manner in which the appointment took place bodes ill for Pakistani democracy.Recommend

  • Vivek
    Oct 20, 2015 - 10:15PM

    So finally the Military of foreign affairs taking firm control on Pakistan’s democracy and so that there will be no future military coups in the country.But military also knows if they give the power to civilian’s they cant have their iron grip and take massive amount’s of Pakistani budget money and enjoy it when majority of the people suffer. Recommend

  • Farwa Bukhari
    Oct 24, 2015 - 4:40PM

    Great move.Recommend

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