Pakistan PM Imran Khan appoints Moeed Yusuf as NSA
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s close aide Moeed Yusuf, who is believed to have played a key role in recent back-channel contacts with India, has been formally appointed the country’s national security adviser.
Since December 2019, Yusuf had served as special assistant to the prime minister on national security and strategic policy planning. Pakistan’s cabinet division issued a formal notification regarding Yusuf’s appointment on Monday.
“The Prime Minister has been pleased to approve that Dr Moeed W Yusuf, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security and Strategic Policy Planning, shall function as National Security Adviser with the status of Federal Minister, with immediate effect,” the notification said.
Before being made chairman of Pakistan’s Strategic Policy Planning Cell (SPPC), which comes under the National Security Division (NSD), Yusuf was associate vice president of the Asia Center at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).
He is also the author of Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments: US Crisis Management in South Asia.
Yusuf is perceived as close to Khan and Pakistan’s military leadership, especially army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa. Reports have said he has played a crucial role in back-channel contacts between India and Pakistan in recent years that led to the two sides recommitting themselves to the 2003 ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) in February.
After the two sides announced on February 25 that they would strictly adhere to the truce on the LoC, Yusuf had said in an audio statement that the agreement on the ceasefire was the outcome of “behind the scenes” contacts and “more roads will open” in future.