Govt decides to abolish NSA’s office

Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided in principle to abolish the office of the National Security Adviser and has announced that powers conferred upon the office will be gradually transferred back to the Foreign Ministry.

Before Lt.Gen (r) Naseer Janjua was appointed as the NSA two years ago by former PM Nawaz Sharif, the National Security Division was located at the Foreign Office. The division moved to the PM’s Office during Janjua’s stint as the NSA.

Sources privy to consultations leading up to the decision say that Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was among those who expressed concerns about conflicting natures of tasks assigned to the NSA and the Foreign Ministry.

Already after the decision, key officers working on senior positions in the National Security Division have been transferred to other departments, and the division lies completely dormant.

NSD additional secretary Fazeel Asghar has been posted out to the Government of Punjab, while JS Darya Khan has been sent back to the Foreign Office. Syed Iftikhar Babar, the NSD secretary, and a few section officers have yet to be given new assignments.

Speaking to Daily Times, the NSA secretary confirmed that most officers had been posted out of the division and said that he would meet the PM’s secretary soon to discuss the future of the division.

Published in Daily Times, September 26th 2018.