New Delhi: Former Intelligence Bureau Chief Ajit Kumar Doval, considered one of the finest operational brains, was on Friday appointed as the National Security Advisor (NSA) to Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. Doval was the first police officer to be awarded the second-highest peacetime gallantry award, the Kirti Chakra.
In 1989, he had led a team of Intelligence Bureau officials along with the Punjab Police and National Security Guards in “Operation Black Thunder” to flush out terrorists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
In 1999, he was the lead negotiator for the release of the IC-814 hostages from Kandahar in Afghanistan. He never hesitated to take risks and this has always stood him in good stead and made him such an outstanding intelligence officer.
He was also a strong advocate of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002, that gave sweeping powers to the police to combat terror. The law was controversial and was scrapped as soon as the UPA government came to power in 2004.
For years Doval has advocated the improvement of internal security capacities and Defence in a practical manner. Unlike the past NSAs who preferred to look at external issues, Doval is likely to concentrate on building India’s internal capacities.
It is the National Security Advisor to whom intelligence agencies such as the Research and Analysis Wing and Intelligence Bureau report, rather than directly to the Prime Minister. Due to such vested powers NSA is a prominent and powerful office in the bureaucracy.
The KC Pant committee on national security appointed by the Vajpayee government had suggested the creation of three National Security Advisor posts in the PMO – with advisors dealing with internal security, defence and foreign affairs. However, this suggestion was never implemented by either the Vajpayee government or the subsequent Singh governments.