The UPA Government has cleared the way for making S Asif Ibrahim as successor to Intelligence Bureau (IB) Director Nehchal Sandhu.
Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) also got its new chief with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-led Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) clearing the name of Alok Joshi, a 1976-batch IPS officer of Haryana cadre.
However, both the appointments were not as smooth as it had appeared.
According to sources, the ACC cleared the name of Joshi only after moving Amitabh Mathur, another strong contender to the RAW chief post, to Aviation Research Centre, the technical arm of the external intelligence agency.
Joshi had earlier served in the IB and Haryana Police on key operations and also managed crucial intelligence operations abroad, including Nepal, Brussels and Pakistan.
Joshi will have a tenure of two years. Present RAW chief Sanjeev Tripathi will retire on December 31.
Sources said the appointment of Asif Ibrahim, a 1977-batch IPS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, as IB Director was full of surprises. He superseded three senior IPS officers — R N Gupta, Rajagopal and Yashovardhan Azad .
Ibrahim handled crucial operations in the agency and is widely known as the “best brain” in the spy agency.
He served in key IB positions in India and abroad and handled domestic issues, including crucial Kashmir desk with finesse.