Brajesh Mishra, the country’s first National Security Adviser who played a key role in foreign policy matters and pushed for deeper engagement with the US, died here today following heart ailment.

Mishra, who would have turned 84 tomorrow, was declared brought dead at the Fortis hospital in Vasant Kunj in south Delhi, at around 9.50 pm, hospital sources said.

He was suffering from coronary artery problem for some time. He had asked his domestic help to bring his dinner but was found in an unconscious condition. The security guards were summoned and he was rushed to the hospital.

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 afte having served as India’s Permanent representative to the UN.

He had played a crucial role in assisting Vajpeyee 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

(This article was published on September 28, 2012)
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