On a mission, NSA Ajit Doval could stay in J-K till Independence Day
Doval has travelled across the Kashmir Valley to reach out to people, get a sense of the pain points that can be addressed and hold coordination meetings with top army and paramilitary commanders,Updated: Aug 11, 2019 08:02 IST
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, who landed in Srinagar on Monday and has been camping in the Kashmir Valley since, is expected to stay put until Independence Day celebrations on August 15, people familiar with the matter said.
Doval also has to ensure that Bakr Eid passes off peacefully, and Pakistan’s effort to engineer violence on August 14, its independence day, is neutralised to a large extent. Pakistan’s top security panel has already announced that it would observe its Independence Day in solidarity with what it described as the struggle of the Kashmiri people.
Doval has travelled across the Kashmir Valley to reach out to people, get a sense of the pain points that can be addressed and hold coordination meetings with top army and paramilitary commanders, said a senior official, as a fresh set of videos and photographs on social media showed Doval interacting with people at a livestock market in south Kashmir’s Anantnag.
One of the videos shows Doval chatting with a local. He asks him about the price and weight of a sheep. The man tells him the sheep is from Drass. ‘’Do you know where Drass is?’’ the Kashmiri man asks Doval.
Before Doval, who knows the state like the back of his hand, can respond, a local official who was accompanying him introduces the NSA. They all walk off after shaking hands.
There have been videos of some of his other interactions as well.
Also Watch | Watch: NSA Ajit Doval interacts with locals in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian
While Doval is seen interacting with the public in Shopian and Anantnag – the hotbed of terrorism since 2016 – and petting sheep at an animal market ahead for Bakr Eid, his main task is to bring intelligence, administration, paramilitary forces and the Indian Army on the same page.
Doval’s extended stay in the Valley is part of a pattern.
In the intelligence establishment, NSA Doval has a reputation of planning his operations like a hockey game. He takes his team from the half-line to the terminology circle (or D), but then enters the D alone to score a goal.
A meticulous planner, the NSA had assessed the situation in the Kashmir valley when he visited Srinagar on July 23, and then chalked out action plans with military and intelligence chiefs at Sardar Patel Bhavan in New Delhi on July 25. Armed with his assessment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah decided to nullify Articles 370 and 35A with the objective of ensuring Kashmir’s development and a better future.
The need for PM Modi to send his point-person Doval to Kashmir was to make sure that there was no over-reaction by security forces to any agitated youngster in the valley and to prevent Pakistan from getting an opportunity to cry human rights violation in Geneva. It is understood that Islamabad has already approached the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, citing the so-called repression in Kashmir.
On Kashmir’s ground zero, Doval’s single-point objective is to maintain peace in this part of the country and ensure that pro-Pakistan separatists, terrorists and activists do not gain an upper hand.
The task for Doval, who acted as PM Modi’s spearhead for the September 2016 surgical strike and the February 2019 Balakot airstrike, this time is to ensure peace -- in a pre-emptive, not retaliatory strike.