NEW DELHI: India National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Monday flatly refused that he gave an interview to a national daily, where he stated that the upcoming Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary level talks have been cancelled over the Pathankot attack.
“I speak to journalists every day. But I do not remember giving any such interview. I strongly deny that I made such a statement,” Doval said in a telephonic conversation to ANI.
However, the online version of the Dainik Bhaskar carried out an interview with Doval.
“We have cancelled the Foreign Secretary-level talks scheduled to take place in Lahore on January 15. Before talks, we want Pakistan to take clamp down on terror,” reported the website quoting Ajit Doval.
“Until Pakistan takes tough action against those responsible for the Pathankot attack and India is satisfied with it, no peace dialogue will take place,” he reportedly said.
The report also said that, admitting to an intelligence failure, he said, “If our agencies had responded in time, the rescue operation could have been carried in a better way”.
However, Speaking to NDTV, Doval said that he had not spoken about cancelling the Foreign Secretary-level talks and that the dates for the talks haven’t been fixed yet.
Pakistan had last week said that Foreign Secretary-level talks with India were “intact” and it was following the leads provided by New Delhi.
Earlier, India has put the ball squarely in Pakistan’s court, linking the fate of the talks to Islamabad’s “prompt and decisive” action on the Pathankot terror attack for which it has provided “actionable intelligence”. However, Sartaj Aziz’s assurance about holding talks as per schedule was interpreted by many analysts here as Islamabad’s willingness to act on the information provided by India in a time-bound manner.
Sharif, who had then telephoned his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, had assured him of “prompt and decisive action” against those found guilty.
In a pre-dawn attack on January 2, a group of heavily- armed Pakistani terrorists struck at the Air Force base in Punjab, killing seven security personnel. India alleges that militant organisation Jaish-i-Muhammad was behind the attack.