Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday termed the cancellation of India-Pakistan NSA-level talks as "unfortunate", as he blamed Islamabad for it.

Singh said India wanted the talks between the national security advisers (NSAs) of the two countries, but Pakistan cancelled it. "We will continue to try for cordial relations with Pakistan, it is up to them to decide," he told reporters in New Delhi.

Emphasising on what External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Saturday in response to Pakistan NSA Sartaj Aziz's accusation of India setting preconditions for talks, Singh said, "Pakistan should not deviate from the agenda decided in the Ufa meet between the two prime ministers."

He reiterated that it had been decided in Ufa that there will be no third party involvement in the NSA-level talks. "Kashmir was never on the agenda," the home minister added.

Asked what would be India's next step, he said, "What would be India's nest step? Now it is for Pakistan to decide."

Rajnath Singh also said that Pakistan should check ceasefire violations at the International Border and at the Line of Control (LoC).

Pakistan was reluctant for talks, says Congress
Meanwhile, main opposition party Congress also held the Indian government responsible for the 23-24 August NSA-level talks being cancelled, saying Pakistan was never interested in it.

"No logic of NSA talks until Pak takes forward trail of Mumbai terror accused to satisfactory conclusion," senior Congress leader Anand Sharma was quoted by ANI as saying.

"India came across as very eager to host NSA talks & Pakistan being reluctant," Sharma added.

Pak media blames India
Meanwhile, the Pakistani media on Sunday blamed India for the cancellation of NSA-level talks by setting "preconditions" ahead of Sartaj Aziz's visit to New Delhi.

NSA Aziz was expected to discuss terrorism and other outstanding issues with his counterpart Ajit Doval, but he called off the trip after India asked Pakistan to give a commitment that he would not meet Kashmiri separatist leaders.

"No talks with pre-conditions, Pakistan tells India", the headline of The News International read, as it reported that " Pakistan responded to the 'hilarious' Indian directives by saying that it will not attend the NSA level talks on the basis of preconditions set by India".

Leading Pakistani daily the Dawn reported that the "NSAs' talks cancelled over Indian conditions". "Amid intense bickering, the government decided on Saturday to cancel the planned meeting of national security advisers with India, citing New Delhi's refusal to allow an expanded agenda and a meeting with Kashmiri leaders," it said.

Also read