NSA Ajit Doval’s upgrade is PM Modi’s sharp message on national security | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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NSA Ajit Doval’s upgrade is PM Modi’s sharp message on national security

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Jun 04, 2019 12:41 PM IST

Top Modi government sources confirmed that Doval was apprised of this re-appointment as NSA by PM Modi over the weekend after his friend and former foreign secretary S Jaishankar was made the External Affairs Minister.

By re-appointing Ajit Doval as National Security Advisor with the rank of a cabinet minister – he will be the first NSA to hold this rank — Prime Minister Narendra Modi has firmly indicated that national security is a top priority of his government and not merely a vote catching slogan.

Doval, a retired 1968 batch IPS officer, has served longest in operational wing of the Intelligence Bureau with postings in Islamabad and London.(PTI)
Doval, a retired 1968 batch IPS officer, has served longest in operational wing of the Intelligence Bureau with postings in Islamabad and London.(PTI)

Doval, a retired 1968 batch IPS officer, has served longest in operational wing of the Intelligence Bureau with postings in Islamabad and London. His reappointment is for five years till 2024 with a tenure of five years.

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This government order brings Doval at par with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, both of whom had the rank of secretary in the Modi 1.0 regime. The promotion of Doval translates into a recognition of the security and intelligence community with the legendary spymaster commanding the respect of India’s armed and para-military forces as well as the intelligence, nuclear and space research community.

The spymaster also has an enviable track record of building institutions. Like after the Parliament attack in 2001, it was Doval who drove the plan to create a Joint Task Force on Intelligence and the Multi-Agency Centre within the Intelligence Bureau. These two organisations were designed to enhance synergies between central security agencies and intelligence units within the state police teams. The anti-terror squads set up by many states are also is his legacy.

During PM Modi first regime, Doval was responsible for preparing the strategic doctrine for India as well as crafting the counter-terrorism response. A Kashmir expert, he advocated firm action on Hurriyat as its factions were representatives of Pakistan-based terrorist groups in the past.

Also Read | National Security Adviser Ajit Doval gets an upgrade, will hold cabinet rank

Top Modi government sources confirmed that Doval was apprised of this re-appointment as NSA by PM Modi over the weekend after his friend and former foreign secretary S Jaishankar was made the External Affairs Minister.

With Amit Shah as Home Minister and Rajnath Singh as Defence Minister, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) will have a surfeit of national security experts.

While the Modi government is tight-lipped over its national security objectives, NSA Doval has a proven record in counter-terrorism with planning and execution of the Uri surgical strikes and the Balakot air strikes under PM Modi’s leadership to his credit.

Although the principal job of Doval will be to advise PM Modi on security issues, he will also play a co-ordinating role between the armed forces and the intelligence community for a cogent military response to any threat. Doval and Jaishankar have proved their mettle together in the 2017 Doklam stand-off when they decided on response to the aggressive PLA within 30 minutes of the information reaching the PMO. Both the principals are strong votaries of independent foreign and national security policy for India and are opposed to terror and talks going on simultaneously.

Also Read | US, China ties key tasks for S Jaishankar

While NSA Doval will act as a bridge between the home and defence ministries, the main focus of the new Modi government will be the stabilization of Kashmir, uprooting Maoists, preventing the rise of Punjab militancy and finding a long term solution to the internal security issues in the North-East.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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