Pakistan's NSA Naseer Janjua matters and here is why

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Over the past few weeks we have got to witness some positive action from Pakistan. For instance the filing of the cases in Pakistan in connection with the Pathankot attack or the sharing of intelligence recently.

In fact the sharing of intelligence with India is a rare occurrence and if this trend continues it would go a long way in the fight against terror.

Pakistan NSA Naseer Janjua and Indian NSA Ajit Doval

Now what exactly has changed? It is not as though India has not been pointing out to Pakistan in the past about cooperation required in fighting terror.

Back in 2004 both the countries even set up a joint force to combat terror, but it never really took off. The difference in Pakistan this time around is Naseer Khan Janjua, a former general in the Pakistan army.

Why Janjua matters?

Let us begin by saying that the civilian government in Pakistan is only incidental and it is the army which calls the shots. Janjua who retired as a Lieutenant General is considered to be the eyes and ears of General Raheel Sharif, the chief of the Pakistan army. He is a man of the establishment and this makes it far easier for him to take decisions.

The army in Pakistan tends to listen only to the army. With Janjua the Pakistan army chief has one of its own and this makes decision making relatively easier.

Pakistan in the past has had National Security Advisors appointed by the civilian government. Such persons have found it hard to strike a balance between the government and the army. That is, however, not the case where Janjua is concerned.

The visits to Pakistan by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj were initially run past Janjua say highly placed sources in New Delhi. The decision making in Pakistan was done in a breeze since Janjua with the approval of the army was able to get a positive nod.

However, post Pathankot attack, the talks at the foreign secretary level were derailed. India was obviously upset, but decided that a complete break down of talks was not the solution. India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval continued to engage with Janjua, but both were careful enough to ensure that they did not speak with the media.

There have been a host of calls made between each other which was also followed up by a secret meeting in Bangkok recently.

Doval had told Janjua that India does expect a better level of cooperation and also positive action where the Pathankot attack was concerned. Janjua was able to give that assurance as he was directly in touch with General Sharif.

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