With the appointment of Amit Shah as the Home minister and Rajnath Singh as the Defence Minister, Prime Minister Modi showcased that the matter of national security is a top priority. Amit Shah’s experience as the home minister of Gujarat as well as his image as a hard taskmaster will definitely help in dealing with the situation of Kashmir.
Adding more feathers to the list, Prime Minister Modi has appointed Samant Goel as the next chief of India’s external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). He was one of the planners of the Balakot airstrikes that demolished the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps situated across the Line of Control in Pakistan. Along with him, Arvind Kumar has been appointed as the Director of Intelligence Bureau (IB). Both Samant Goel and Arvind Kumar are 1984 batch IPS officers.
As the chairman of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, PM Modi paved the way for these appointments. Goel currently heads operations for R&AW and was instrumental in planning the February 2019 Balakot airstrikes as well as the 2016 surgical strikes. Samant Goel also handled Punjab militancy when it was at its peak in the 1990s. He was posted in Dubai and London for that matter. Samant Goel, a Pakistan expert will succeed Anil Dhasmana who got a six-month extension as R&AW chief as the country moved into election mode. However, Goel’s name had also figured in the family feud within the CBI a few months back.
Arvind Kumar is an Assam-Meghalaya cadre IPS officer and is considered as an expert hand on matters related to Kashmir. He has been closely involved in tackling left-wing extremism at the Intelligence Bureau. Before this, he was holding the charge as special director Kashmir at the intelligence agency. He has also headed the agency in Bihar and before that, he looked after its administration and inquiry branches for long. He will replace Rajiv Jain at the top post who got a six-month extension as the country moved into election mode.
These two appointments will help India to deal with Pakistan and the ISI sponsored militancy. With their great experience and expertise, these officers will help in keeping the nation safe from both, external and internal threats.
Both officials will take charge on June 30. With the appointment of the chiefs of India’s two intelligence agencies, now all eyes are on the appointment of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) as the incumbent General Bipin Rawat will retire by the end of this year.