The government on Friday appointed Ajit Doval, a celebrated officer of Indian intelligence, known for his daring acts, as the national security adviser (NSA). On behalf of the prime minister, the national security adviser is the custodian of nuclear button.
Doval was the director of Intelligence Bureau from 2004 to 2005. He spent decades heading different operation wings. His acts during his service, entrenching deep inside enemy lines, are copycats of spy thrillers.
Doval, a topper of IPS 1968 batch from Kerala cadre, has served with distinction in Mizoram, Punjab, Kashmir, Pakistan and the UK.
He is the second IPS officer after M K Narayanan to hold this post. Other three NSAs – Brajesh Mishra, J N Dikshit and Shiv Shankar Menon – were from diplomatic cadre. An unconvential officer, who knows to seek opportunities out of challenges, he defanged Laldenga of Mizo National Front by wining over his six commandos. His association with Mizos ultimately led to a peace accord. He is reported to have entrenched himself deep into Laldenga's cadres to the extent of joining his camps deep inside Arakan in Myanmar and China.
Doval repeated the feat in Punjab by playing a crucial role in rescuing a Romanian diplomat, Liviu Radu. He was the faceless architect of Operation Black Thunder and was actually inside the Harimandir Sahib in Golden Temple complex in Amritsar at the time of the operation in 1988. He is said to have also planned out the Punjab state elections of 1992.
Doval also spent six crucial years in Pakistan as an undercover intelligence officer in Indian mission in Islamabad. When intelligence sources in Kashmir had dried up, he took up the challenge in 1994 and created a band of counter-insurgents led by dreaded Kuka Parray to reply militants in the same language. That paved way for 1996 assembly elections. He was also India's main negotiator with the hijackers of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 in Kandahar in 1999 along with diplomat Vivek Katju.
After retirement from service on January 31, 2005, he was security advisor to the government of Karnataka.
Known for his clear insight and vision for Indian and global security issues, Doval has been the youngest police officer ever to get the Indian Police Medal, just six years after joining the service.
In 1988, Doval was awarded one of the highest gallantry awards, the Kirti Chakra, becoming the first police officer to receive a medal previously given only as a military honour.