Who is Ajit Kumar Doval?
Ajit Kumar Doval, IPS (Retd), PM, PPM, KC (Hindi: अजीत कुमार डोभाल, born 20 January 1945) is a former Indian intelligence and law enforcement officer, who is the 5th and current National Security Adviser to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, since 30 May 2014. He had previously served as the Director of the Intelligence Bureau in 2004–05, after spending a decade as the head of its operations wing.
- In 1968: Doval is an IPS officer from the 1968 batch of the Kerala cadre. He was actively involved in anti-insurgency operations in Mizoram, Punjab and Kashmir.
- 1999: Doval was India's main negotiator with the hijackers of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 in Kandahar in 1999. Uniquely, Doval has the experience of being involved in the termination of all 15 hijackings of Indian Airlines aircraft from 1971–1999. In the Headquarters, he headed IB's operations wing for over a decade and was founder Chairman of the Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) a Multi-agency coordination body and Joint Task Force on Intelligence (JTFI).
- During the Mizo National Front (MNF) insurgency, Doval won over six of Laldenga's seven commanders. He spent long periods of time incognito with the Mizo National Army in the Arakan in Burma and inside Chinese territory. From Mizoram, Doval went to Sikkim where he played a role during the merger of the state with India.
- In 1989, 1992: In Punjab he was behind the rescue of Romanian diplomat Liviu Radu and the success of Operation Blue Star.He was actually inside the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1989 during Operation Black Thunder.
- In 1990, 1996: Doval before his retirement had spent six years in Indian High Commission in Islamabad, Pakistan. He went to Kashmir in 1990 and persuaded militants (like Kuka Parray ) to become counter-insurgents targeting hardline anti-India terrorists. This set the way for state elections in Jammu and Kashmir in 1996. Later, he was posted in the Indian High Commission in London, UK as a Minister.
- He lived undercover in Pakistan for seven years.
After retirement (2005–2014)
- 31 January 2005: He retired from service on 31 January 2005 from the position of Director, Intelligence Bureau. He is held in high esteem as one of India's well-known Foremost analysts & commentators on strategic national and international issues. His writings have been published widely in International journals, domestic and international media, and he is known for his clear insight and vision for Indian and global security issues. He has spoken extensively nationally and internationally on strengthening Indian security apparatus and closer cooperation amongst security forces globally.
- In December 2009: He is the founder Director of the Vivekananda International Foundation, a think tank set up by the Vivekananda Kendra, a Spiritually Oriented Organisation in December 2009. Doval has remained actively involved in the discourse on national security in India. Besides writing editorial pieces for several leading newspapers and journals, he has delivered lectures on India's security challenges and foreign policy objectives at several renowned government and non-governmental institutions, security think-tanks in India and abroad. In recent years, he has delivered guest lectures on strategic issues at IISS, London, Capitol Hill, Washington DC, Australia-India Institute, University of Melbourne, National Defence College, New Delhi and the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. Doval has also spoken internationally at esteemed events globally, citing the ever increasing need of cooperation between the major established and emerging powers of the world.
As National Security Adviser (2014–present)
On 30 May 2014, Doval was appointed as India's fifth National Security Adviser.
In June 2014, Doval played a crucial role in ensuring secure return of 46 Indian nurses who were trapped in a hospital in Tikrit, Iraq. After the family members lost all contacts from these nurses, following the capture of Mosul by ISIS. Doval, on a top secret mission flew to Iraq on 25 June 2014 to understand the position on the ground and make high-level contacts in the Iraqi government.
Although, the exact circumstances of their release are unclear, but on 5 July 2014, ISIS militants handed the nurses to authorities at Erbilcity and two specially arranged planes by Indian Government brought them back home to Kochi.
Ajit Doval played an important role along with Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag in Manipur to chart out a first of its kind cross-border operation in Myanmar and inflict heavy casualties on insurgents disturbing India's peace. Casualties have been pegged at at least 50. It's also said that he skipped PM Modi's Dhaka trip to plan cross-border operation in Myanmar.
Awards and recognitions
- Doval was the youngest police officer ever to get the Police Medal for meritorious service. He got it after six years in the police (the norm is at least 17 years' service).
- He was later awarded the President's Police Medal.
- 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.
During one of the seminars, before being appointed as NSA, he responded to Mumbai attacks by saying "You do one more Mumbai, you may lose Balochistan" while referring to 2008 Mumbai Attacks.