General Raheel Sharif
Pakistani officials said that the military has played the key role in reviving talks with India. Picture: Pakistan's newly appointed army chief General Raheel Sharif attends the change of command ceremony with outgoing army chief General Ashfaq Kayani (not in picture) at the army headquarters in Rawalpindi November 29, 2013.Reuters

The officials in Pakistan government have given the credit for renewed India-Pak relations to the Pakistani military, whose chief is close to the recently appointed national security advisor.

Retired general Naseer Khan Janjua, who replaced Sartaj Aziz as the national security advisor in October this year, is said to have close relations with Army chief General Raheel Sharif.

Pakistani officials are of the view that the relation between Janjua and Raheel Sharif will be of immense benefit for Pakistan to revive its relation with India. Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif met in Paris and Russian city of Ulfa earlier this year, the true effort into reviving relations started after Janjua's appointment, Pakistani officials.

"General Janjua has immense experience in these matters. He's the best man for the job and he has already proven to be an asset to this (peace) process... It's only an added benefit that he has a direct line to the (army) chief," Pakistani prime minister's cabinet member said, according to Reuters.

Kashmir, the contentious topic that has soured the India-Pakistan relations, and terrorism will be the centre of discussion between the two nations. 

"I think in the past there was a hesitation from Pakistan, understandably, to talk about terrorism [with India] but that may have changed...There is better division of labour. The real decision-making is happening behind the scenes. The rest is just optics," a diplomat told Reuters.

India and Pakistan have witnessed sour relations for long over various issues, including ceasefire violations and militant attacks in Jammu & Kashmir earlier this year. Both the nations have either cancelled or postponed several talks in the past over the Kashmir issue.

However, the two nations decided to iron out their differences with a dialogue during Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj's visit to Pakistan for the Heart of Asia summit earlier in December.

Surprising all, Modi visited Lahore on Friday to meet Nawaz Sharif on his 66th birthday, on his way back to India from Russia and Afghanistan visit. 

Also read