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Shivshankar Menon Is New NSA

PTI 21 Jan 2010, 19:28:00 IST

High profile former Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon was on Thursday  named as the new National Security Adviser (NSA) to succeed M K Narayanan. 

The 60-year-old career diplomat will be in the rank of Minister of State, according to the decision of the Appointments Committee of Cabinet. 

Menon, who brings with him vast experience in the diplomatic field, had played a key role in the negotiations on the historic Indo-US civil nuclear deal and in ending India's isolation in the atomic sector. 

He served as Foreign Secretary for about three years before retiring on July 31 last year. Prior to it, he had a crucial three-year stint as High Commissioner to Pakistan and his tenure saw an upswing in the bilateral ties marked by the progress in composite dialogue process. 

The 1972-batch Indian Foreign Service officer had earlier served in China, Israel, Austria, Japan and Sri Lanka and was an advisor in the Department of Atomic Energy during the course of his diplomatic career. 

His stint as Foreign Secretary was marked by some controversy towards the end over the Indo-Pak Joint Statement issued in Sharm-el Sheikh following talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani in July last year. 

The government came under severe attack for allowing inclusion of reference to Balochistan and delinking talks from action against terrorism by Pakistan and Menon was one of the key targets for it. PTI