Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday condoled the death of the country's first National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra and said the nation has lost a towering pillar of its strategic community.
"I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing away of Brajesh Mishra, who was one of the most able and influential public servants of his generation," the prime minister said.
"In his demise, the country has lost a towering pillar of our strategic community and an outstanding diplomat and administrator," he said.
Mishra, who would have turned 84 today, died on Friday night.
Dr Singh said as the first NSA, Mishra "brought to the job his breadth of strategic vision, diplomatic finesse and above all, a sense of India's destiny and place in global affairs."
Dr Singh said he had consulted Mishra on several occasions as prime minister and "always found his counsel to be insightful and free from bias. He always thought about what was right for the country."
He observed that as NSA and principal secretary to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, "Mishra displayed a grasp of administration and public affairs at the highest level that few will ever match."
"He will be remembered for his masterly handling of the aftermath of the nuclear tests in 1998 and for guiding Vajpayee's peace initiatives in the neighbourhood," the prime minister said.
"Please accept my deepest condolences. May God give you the strength to bear this irreparable loss," he said in a message to Mishra's wife Pushpa Mishra.