Narayanan denies differences with PM as NSA

Kochi: Former National Security Adviser M K Narayanan has denied that he had difference of opinion with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Pakistan against the backdrop of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Asked about Wikileaks revelations in this regard, Narayanan, who is now the Governor of West Bengal, told reporters here last night that he did not have any difference of opinion with the Prime Minister.

"There was an informal discussion with US Ambassador Timothy Roemer. I told him that the Prime Minister was a great believer in improving relations with Pakistan. He (PM) always says we can choose our friends, but we cannot choose our neighbours and Pakistan is a great neighbour."

Narayanan said the Ambassador wanted to know his stand on these matters.

"I said I do not have as much belief in Pakistan (as much PM has). That is a different view, not a difference of opinion. Nor do I think it is possible for the National Security Adviser to have difference of opinion with the PM.

Prime Minister is the only one who decides on the policies not the NSA," Narayanan said on the sidelines of a function.

As per the Wikileaks revelations, Ambassador Roemer after a meeting with Narayanan in August 2009 had held that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was isolated within his own government in his "great belief" in talks and negotiations with Pakistan.

Asked about the reports on the so called `Kerala Mafia` in the PMO, Narayanan said it was an "American perception and obviously wrong perception. That`s all I can say".

"I don`t think we are a mafia. We have been selected by the Prime Minister and we have done what the PM would like us to do. Selections are done based on the availability and hopefully, good choices. Prime Minister wants the right people for the right job," Narayanan said.