Ajit Doval to stay NSA, gets cabinet minister rank
New Delhi, June 3 (IANS): Ajit Doval has been given extension as National Security Advisor (NSA) for five more years in recognition of his contribution in the security domain and he has also got the rank of Cabinet Minister in the new Modi government.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Doval as NSA with effect from May 31, 2019.
“His (Doval’s) appointment will be co-terminus with the term of the Prime Minister or until further orders, whichever is earlier,” a Ministry of Personnel order said.
During the term, the order said, Doval will be assigned the rank of “Cabinet Minister in the table of Precedence”.
In its first innings, the Modi government conducted two important anti-terror operations under Doval’s watch.
In 2016, the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri terror attack. In 2019, the Indian Air Force (IAF) bombed a terror camp in Pakistan after the Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir that killed 40 CRPF troopers.
Doval also played a crucial role in resolving the Doklam military stand-off between India and China on the country’s north-eastern border.
Informed sources said that Doval and newly-appointed External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar would be the two prominent faces of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the diplomatic and strategic fronts, both having vast experience in South East and South Asian strategic affairs.
Doval and Jaishankar earlier played a key role in bringing the Obama administration closer to the Modi-led India.
Doval’s deep understanding and execution of counter-terror operations and his stint in Pakistan as India’s top intelligence sleuth are seen as vital assets for national security.
In an exclusive on May 29, IANS broke the story that Doval, one of Modi’s most able advisors, would continue as NSA.
Amid speculation on whether he would be appointed the Defence Minister or Ambassador to the US, the story said: “He is in many ways the PM’s eyes and ears on security-related issues and sources close to the developments dismissed his move from the PMO completely.”