NSA Doval Denies Bypassing MEA in Talking to Pak Envoy

NSA Doval Denies Bypassing MEA in Talking to Pak Envoy

National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval today trashed suggestions that he had bypassed the Ministry of External Affairs by directly talking to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit last month amid escalation of tensions on the border.

"It was absolutely necessary to tell them (Pakistan) without any loss of time that you stop it or else we will retaliate. This message was concurrently given to our High Commissioner in Islamabad and to the High Commissioner of Pakistan here. When there is an emergency, you do not go into who should be talking to whom," Doval said.

"If it's a police commissioner sitting here and if there is somebody's life to be saved, though it may be the job of a constable, but he will go and do it himself. So there is no question of embarassing anyone and Sushma Swaraj (External Affairs Minister) was anyway not there at that time," he said.

The NSA was reported to have spoken to Basit thrice in two days in July following repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan. It is unusual for the NSA to directly speak to the High Commissioner of any country as it is the Foreign Office which does it.

He also refuted suggestions that that the PMO dictates the terms in all matters.

"To say that the PMO dictates the terms, or calls the shots, it's completely wrong. It's all a team work and we work very closely as a team," Doval said.

He was in the city to deliver a lecture on 'State security, statecraft and conflict of values' organised by the Lalit Doshi Memorial Foundation. Doshi was an IAS officer of Maharashtra.


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