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Cancellation of NSA level talks by Pakistan is unfortunate: Home Minister

Cancellation of NSA talks by Pakistan is “unfortunate”, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said here today and made it clear that the possibility of any future dialogue will depend on the neighbour.

He underlined that India stands for dialogue and cordial relationship with Pakistan, a day after the talks between NSA Ajit Doval and his counterpart Sartaj Aziz were called off.

“The cancellation of NSA-level talks between India and Pakistan is unfortunate. India is in favour of dialogue,” Singh said on the sidelines of a function at Sanskrit Vidyapeeth here.

On Pakistan blaming India for cancellation of talks, the Home Minister said, “It is Pakistan which has cancelled the talks and not India.”

He said that India has always been of the view of maintaining good and cordial relationship with the nighbours and its efforts would continue.

“But Pakistan should not have deviated from the agenda decided during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (in Ufa in July),” he said.

On Pakistan’s criticism of India’s objections to Aziz’s meeting with Kashmiri separatist leaders, Singh said, “the thing was that there will be no third party in NSA-level talks. It was only NSA level talk. There was nothing like that others too will hold talks before, later or in between.”

The Union Minister said Pakistan should have held talks as per pre-decided agenda.

On Pakistan’s claim that Kashmir was the main agenda, the Home Minister said, “then why was it not decided earlier that when it would be part of NSA level talks? It was never an issue on agenda.”

India has maintained that terror was the only agenda on the talks between the two NSAs.

Asked about possibility of any dialogue in future, Singh said, “go and ask Pakistan, how can I reply to it.