National Security Advisor Ajit Doval turned 77 on 20 January. The fifth NSA of the country, Doval has been spent years undercover in Pakistan, earning the nickname of India’s James Bond.
Doval was born on 20 January 1495, in Uttarakhand’s Pauri Garhwal. He began his career as an IPS officer in 1968 and was later involved in anti-insurgency operations in Punjab and Mizoram.
Doval joined the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in 1972 and remained in the organisation for over three decades. On the birthday of the James Bond of India, here are some of the daring exploits that have earned him the sobriquet:
Role in countering Punjab insurgency:
Doval worked with the Indian Army for Operation Blue Star in 1984, helping them secure the site and flush out Khalistani militants from the Golden Temple.
In 1988, his counter-insurgency operations in the area once saw him enter the Golden Temple while posing as a rickshaw puller. According to Economic Times, Doval convinced the Khalistani militants holed inside the Golden Temple that he was a Pakistani operative who had come to their aid and helped them surrender.
Surrender of Kuka Parray:
In 1990, Doval was in Jammu and Kashmir, where he negotiated with Kuka Parray and his troops to become counter-insurgents, which helped clear the way for elections in the state in 1996.
Undercover in Pakistan:
Doval is believed to have spent seven years in Pakistan as an undercover operative and was responsible for gathering intel on militant groups active in the country. According to Business Standard, of the total time he spent in Pakistan, Doval worked at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad for a period of six years and spent one year as a secret agent.
Role in IC-814 negotiations:
Doval was involved in negotiating the release of passengers from the flight IC-814, which had been taken to Kandahar by hijackers. According to news reports, between 1971 and 1999, Doval successfully terminated at least 15 hijacking of Indian Airlines aircraft.
Release of 46 Indian nurses from Iraq:
The rise of ISIS in 2014 led to immense chaos in Iraq and also saw the Iraqi government struggle to contain the advance of the terrorist group across the region. During that time, Doval ensured that 46 Indian nurses who were trapped in Tikrit, Iraq, were rescued by authorities and safely brought back to India.
According to news reports, Doval went to Iraq himself on 25 June 2014, to understand the situation on the ground and negotiate with the Iraqi government to secure the release of the nurses.
Role in surgical strikes:
Since Doval was appointed as the NSA in 2014, he has overseen surgical strikes by India in Myanmar and Pakistan. The 2016 surgical strike and the 2019 Balakot air strike have been conducted under Doval’s tenure as the National Security Advisor.