Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Don't see any political party speak much on national security issues: Ajit Doval

Don't see any political party speak much on national security issues: Ajit Doval
Nistula Hebbar, ET Bureau Jan 9, 2014
(Ajit Doval's comments are…)
Former director of the Intelligence Bureau and the youngest police officer to ever receive the Kirti Chakra, Ajit Doval heads the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF). In an interview with Nistula Hebbar, he spoke about security issues, politics and how Narendra Modi is yet to articulate his strategic vision. Doval's comments are significant in the light of his having been regarded as a close confidante of BJP leader LK Advani and his authorship of a paper on black money that was adopted by the party.
As a security expert, what is your view of recent reports on Lashkar-e-Taiba's alleged attempts to recruit Muslims in Muzaffarnagar's riot camps?
I find it difficult to believe simply because there has been no official authentication of these news reports which have appeared. Areport appears and everyone talks about it without going into the fact that LeT as an organisation is a particular kind of creature. Nobody goes into their recruitment strategies, how they've recruited in the past etc. We need more information on this before it can be believed.
As part of your work for the VIF you have also issued a paper on black money along with (RSS ideologue) S Gurumurthy, which was commissioned by the BJP. Would you say you have right-wing sympathies, ideologically speaking?
The paper was written first and the BJP took it up later as part of their campaign to bring back black money from abroad. As for right wing, just what do you mean by that? As far as I am concerned, the entire country is right wing as we don't have collectivised ownership of resources and have the concept of private property. That is my understanding of right and left-wing ideologies predicated on ownership of resources. I stand for a strong nation with a strong economy so that we have enough resources to spend 2.5% of GDP on strengthening defence capabilities, enough to compete with China and others. You need to spend, and you have to take a strong nationalist view on these issues.
BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi also seems to advocate a strong nationalist view on these issues. Are you in sympathy with them?
I don't really know. He (Narendra Modi) hasn't articulated his views on many issues. There could be (a point of agreement) but I haven't really heard much. Why him, I don't see any political party speak much on security issues, maritime security which is so important, things that need to addressed at a fundamental level.

Were you upset that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also didn't refer to these issues in his press conference?
I do find it strange that the Prime Minister didn't speak about any of these issues in his press conference. That could be because of the nature of the occasion. As I said earlier, no political party seems to be engaging in any meaningful dialogue on these issues.
It's being said that you might find an important place in any future NDA government, even as National Security Advisor? Are you a member of the BJP?

That is absurd and hypothetical. I am not a member of any political party, have never been. I don't think I'd like to accept any position in any government.