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Appointment of Moeed Yusuf as NSA -a sure sign of shifting sands in Pakistan

19/05/2021 at 10:40 AM

By Arun Joshi

The changing internal dynamic of the internal dynamic of Pakistani politics came out in open with the appointment of Moeed Yusuf as National Security Advisor to the Government, making it obvious that  Islamabad was struggling to find its feet in the new geo-strategic scenario emerging in South Asia.

Pakistan Government announced  Moeed Yusuf’s appointment as NSA on Tuesday . He was until now serving as  Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Security division and strategic policy planning in Pakistan.

His appointment  in which he has been granted status of  full-fledged federal minister has many implications for Pakistan’s own internal politics , and more so for Islamabad’s attitude and approach toward  other nations, particularly India, Afghanistan and the United States of America . Internally , it is an attempt to counter those politicians, particularly External Affairs Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi whose flip-flop on  domestic politics as also relations with other important countries has landed Pakistan in a deep state of embarrassment .

Qureshi had stalled the resumption of trade between India and Pakistan even when Pakistan’s economic council had recommended that Pakistan should import cotton, sugar and cotton yarn from India , that had served a setback to further improvement in Indo-Pak ties after the reinstatement of the ceasefire agreement between two countries on the Line of Control  that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan .

This had also negated the spirit of dialogue and bonhomie between the two countries  which was articulated by Pakistan army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa at Islamabad National security Dialogue held in March in Islamabad. Gen. Bajwa had sent a clear message of better ties with India.

He had said at the Islamabad  National Security Dialogue , organized by Mooed Yusuf, that India and Pakistan could play a pivotal role in unlocking the potential of the region.

Gen. Bajwa had observed “ stable Indo-Pak relation is a key to unlock the untapped potential of South and Central Asia by ensuring connectivity between East and West Asia”. Thereafter, he had also stated , “ it is time to bury the past and move forward. But for resumption of peace process or meaningful dialogue , our neighbour will have to create conducive environment , particularly in Kashmir.”

This was a high moment in the Indo-Pak  relations in the recent years, especially after the Pulwama attack of February 14, 2019 , and  retaliation by India in smashing terror training camps in Pakistan in the same  month . Things had worsened further when India scrapped special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divided the state into two union t territories leaving  Pakistan huffing and puffing . it alleged  that  India had violated the U N resolutions on Kashmir that envisaged referendum  to be granted to the people of the Himalayan territory to make a choice between India and Pakistan as the country of their future..

A couple of days ago , Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani had told a German  magazine Der Spiegel  that the most important thing is to get Pakistan on board . “ The US now plays only a minor role . The question of peace  or stability is now in Pakistani hands,” as he also observed  quite candidly that “ Pakistan operates an organized system of support  for the Afghan Taliban “ and  pointed out that the “ Taliban receives logistics from Pakistan..”

This indictment of Pakistan by Afghanistan President caused huge embarrassment to Pakistan . Although Pakistan’s foreign office  declared  rebuffed all the charges made by President Ghani, yet the mud has stuck Pakistan.

It is  in this context that Moeed Yusuf ‘s appointment seeks to reorient the domestic and foreign policy . Moeed has good ties with the American diplomats and think tanks and is a moderate voice having good  relations with the army . This  appointment is indicative of shifting sands in Pakistan .

About the Author:

Arun Joshi is a senior journalist based in J&K. He has worked with Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express and The Tribune.

He has authored “ Eyewitness Kashmir: Teetering on Nuclear War” and three other books.


This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write up have nothing to do with the www.prameyanews.com

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