Brajesh Mishra passes away; last rites on Monday



Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The last rites of India's first National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra, who died at a private hospital in New Delhi on Friday night 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 on Saturday, 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.

Mishra was a pivotal figure in shaping foreign policy during NDA government and a troubleshooter of prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

As the news of his death just a day before his 85th birthday came, there was a buzz in the social online media, with several condolence messages pouring in.

"Brajesh Mishra RIP - a titan amongst Indian diplomats," tweeted Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Syed Akbaruddin.

"He (Mishra) died in a hospital," a government official told a news agency.

A career diplomat, he had served as India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations and as ambassador to Indonesia. He retired as secretary in the External Affairs Ministry.

He had played a key role in India's diplomatic efforts to contain the adverse reaction from developed countries to India's testing of a nuclear device in May, 1998.

Born on September 29, 1928, Mishra's father Dwarka Prasad Mishra, former Congress chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and considered close to Indira Gandhi.

Mishra joined BJP in 1991 only to quit it seven years later to become Vajpayee's powerful principal secretary.

Mishra, as the principal secretary to the prime minister, wielded so much clout that he often almost eclipsed the status of cabinet ministers in Vajpayee government.

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 seeking to expedite a resolution of the vexed border problem.

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

From Pokhran-2 to Kashmir and from Vajpayee's historic bus journey to Pakistan to engaging the US in a strategic dialogue, Mishra was a crucial figure in foreign policy and security initiatives.

Mishra was India's Permanent Representative to the UN from June 1979 to April 1981. He continued with the UN on deputation, till June 1987.

After NDA was voted out of power in May 2004, Mishra did not rejoin BJP.

Mishra crafted an important role for himself and was often seen present at all meetings on foreign policy matters held at Vajpayee's residence.

In July 2005, when the Manmohan Singh government first signed the Indo-US nuclear agreement, Mishra was one of the strongest opponents of the deal.

He is understood to have played a role in convincing the BJP to take an anti-nuke deal position but subsequently became a votary of the deal.

(With Agency inputs)