A report in Hindi daily on Monday quoted Ajit Doval as saying in an exclusive interview, “As long as Pakistan doesn‘t take action against those guilty of Pathankot attack and India is satisfied with Pakistan‘s action on the issue, there won t be any peace talks between the two countries. For now, India is cancelling the Indo-Pak secretary level meet, scheduled to be held on January 15.”
However, shortly after the interview was published, Doval denied making any such remark.
“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 on the Dainik Bhaskar interview.
Doval separately told NDTV that he has not said the talks have been cancelled.
He added that dates for the foreign secretary-level talks have not been fixed and that talks will only happen if Pakistan takes action against perpetrators of the Pathankot airbase terror attack.
Indian officials suspect the January 2 attack on the Pathankot base, which left seven soldiers dead, was carried out by the banned Pakistan-based group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Pakistan Foreign Ministry had earlier confirmed that India had shared evidence with them and Islamabad is working on the leads provided by the Indian government.
Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had recently said that the scheduled talks between foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India are still intact.
Aziz told reporters in Lahore that the two countries had agreed to hold talks on January 15. He said India has neither confirmed nor cancelled the scheduled meeting so far.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also assured that Islamabad is swiftly carrying out investigations in a transparent manner and will bring out the truth.
The attack — a rare targeting of an Indian military installation outside disputed Kashmir — may have been intended to undermine improving relations with Pakistan after a landmark visit to the neighbouring country by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month.
After the terror attack, Modi conveyed to Sharif that India wants to see urgent action taken against those who conceived and executed the terror plot.
Upcoming Pak-India dialogue will cover peace and security as well as territorial disputes, including over Kashmir, a Himalayan region that has seen India and Pakistan fight two wars since gaining their independence from Britain in 1947.
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