India’s 1st NSA Brajesh Mishra’s last rites on Monday

New Delhi: The last rites of Brajesh Mishra, the country’s first National Security Adviser who died here following a heart ailment, will be held on Monday.

His mortal remains will be consigned to flames at the Lodhi Road Crematorium at 11 AM on Monday, a close relative of Mishra said.

Mishra, who would have turned 84 today, was declared brought dead at the Fortis Hospital in Vasant Kunj at around 9.50 PM last night.He was suffering from coronary artery problem for some time.

A career diplomat, Mishra was Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee before he was appointed NSA. He had earlier retired as Secretary in the External Affairs Ministry after having served as India’s Permanent representative to the UN.

He had played a crucial role in assisting Vajpayee during the Kargil conflict in 1999.

After the fall of the NDA government in 2004 and the fading away of Vajpayee from the political scene, Mishra distanced himself from BJP and often criticised its stand on various foreign policy issues.

He also batted for the Indo-US nuclear deal when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was negotiating with Washington and attacked BJP for opposing it.

Believed to be the most powerful man in the PMO during Vajpayee’s tenure, Mishra had also showed his dexterity as an able troubleshooter.

He had joined the BJP in 1991 only to quit it seven years later to become Vajpayee’s Principal Secretary.

He played a key role on several issues relating to domestic and international policies, including forging closer ties with China and bringing thaw in Indo-Pak relations. He was Special Representative for talks with China to expedite resolution of the vexed border problem.

In November 1998, he became the country’s first National Security Adviser, a post he held till May 23, 2004.