Doval will Only be the Sec­ond NSA with In­tel­li­gence Back­ground

The Economic Times - - Econ­omy -

“They get along really well…and have same views on many crit­i­cal se­cu­rity is­sues,” one per­son said. “Modi ex­pects Doval to give con­crete shape to In­dia’s anti-ter­ror and an­tiMaoist strat­egy and stream­line an­titer­ror and anti-Maoist op­er­a­tions,” this per­son added. Doval will only be the sec­ond NSA af­ter MK Narayanan to have a pro­fes­sional ca­reer in in­tel­li­gence. Most NSAs such as Bra­jesh Mishra for Atal Bi­hari Va­j­payee, and JN Dixit, Shyam Saran and SS Menon for Man­mo­han Singh, had for­eign ser­vice back­grounds. In fact, Narayanan started as Singh’s in­ter­nal se­cu­rity ad­vi­sor, and only took over NSA du­ties when Dixit passed away. An of­fi­cial in the PMO who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity said Modi may ap­point a deputy NSA with a for­eign ser­vice back­ground. Among the names be­ing con­sid­ered should the post of deputy NSA be cre­ated is Hardeep Puri, re­tired IFS, who was In­dia’s man in the United Na­tions.

Close ob­servers of In­dia’s se­cu­rity ap­pa­ra­tus and its ta­lent level say Doval’s ca­reer as a spy­mas­ter has been among the more suc­cess­ful in re­cent past. A 1968 batch IPS of­fi­cer who spent vir­tu­ally all his ca­reer in IB, Doval is cred­ited by se­cu­rity ex­perts with in­tel­li­gence suc­cesses like in­fil­trat­ing the Mizo Na­tional Army and plan­ning key Myan­mar- and China-re­lated mis­sions. His in­tel­li­gence work was also cru­cial in Op­er­a­tion Black Thun­der, the mop-up op­er­a­tion that fol­lowed Op­er­a­tion Blue Star, the first big ac­tion against Pun­jab mil­i­tants in Golden Tem­ple. Un­der­cover work in Pak­istan and the tough job of be­ing one of the ne­go­tia­tors in the 1C-814 hi­jack­ing episode added suf­fi­ciently to his CV so that when BJP lost power in 2004, the Congress govern­ment ap­pointed him as IB chief, de­spite Doval’s per­ceived close­ness to BJP lead­ers.

Doval re­tired in 2005 and was con- sidered a cer­tainty for NSA’s job had BJP won in 2009 elec­tions. The long wait for Doval be­tween 2005 and 2014 was spent mostly in set- ting up the Vivekananda In­ter­na­tional Foun­da­tion, a Delhi-based think tank with a cen­tre-right in­tel­lec­tual per­spec­tive.

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