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Added on : 2019-05-20 08:38:18

The Imran Khan-led Pakistan government is actively considering appointing a National Security Advisor to revive backchannel diplomacy with India to iron out issues hindering the resumption of peace talks between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, official sources said on Sunday.

Since assuming the office in August last year, Prime Minister 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 likely appointment of the NSA is meant for reviving the backchannel diplomacy with India to sort out some of the pressing issues between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, the official sources privy to the development was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.
 

A senior official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the government was likely to appoint a retired military official as the National Security Advisor (NSA).

He said certain names were under consideration but no final decision has been taken yet.

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.

Amid mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting what it said was a JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26.

The next day, the PAF retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was later released and handed over to India on March 1.

Now, with the almost two-month long election exercise getting over, the Pakistan government is considering options on how to resume talks with India.

Pakistan believes that the new government in India after the general elections would be more receptive to Khan's offer of peace talks.

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