ISLAMABAD - Pakistan yesterday said India was wrongly linking the Jaish-e-Mohammed with Pakistan as it is a proscribed entity in the country since 2002. Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammed Faisal said Pakistan had rejected Indian allegations over Pulwama attack also because these were made prematurely, without carrying out any investigations.

“These knee-jerk and preconceived accusations were nevertheless consistent with well-rehearsed tactics from Indian playbook after such incidents in the past,” he said in a statement.

The statement came in response to the claims made by spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs about Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua’s briefing to the diplomatic corps. India was quick to point finger at Pakistan after a Kashmiri freedom fighter carried out a suicide bombing in Pulwama area of the Indian Occupied Kashmir a few days ago, killing dozens of Indian soldiers.

India claimed the JeM, which once had presence in Pakistan but is now active in the Indian-occupied Kashmir alone, had carried out the attack. “JeM remains a proscribed entity in Pakistan since 2002 and Pakistan is implementing its obligations on sanctions implementation,” the foreign office spokesperson said.

As for Indian assertions about “JeM claims of responsibility” and purported “video of the attacker”, Dr Faisal questioned the selective and self-serving standards that India adhered to in this respect. He drew attention to the clear dichotomy in Indian position regarding video ‘proofs’.

On the one hand India accepted the unverified social media content about Pulwama attack as ‘gold standard’ while on the other it chose denial when confronted with voluntary confessions and acceptance of responsibility by its serving naval commander Kulbushan Jadhav for perpetrating terrorist violence in Pakistan,” he said.

India needed to introspect and respond to questions about its security and intelligence lapses that led to this attack, the spokesperson said. “India owes an explanation on reports of Adil Ahmed Dar’s arrest and custody since 2017,” he added. Faisal said Pakistan desired normalisation of relations with India. In his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Imran Khan followed his intention of taking two steps if India takes one, with the proposal for both foreign ministers to meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. It was India which cancelled the meeting on baseless pretexts. Similarly, he said, Pakistan’s Kartarpur border corridor initiative was a step aimed at improving people to people contacts and deescalating a vitiated environment.

“Bluster, belligerence and pursuit of expedient standards to suit internal political interests is both delusional and counterproductive. India must come out of the denial mode, end state repression against Kashmiri youth, address widespread alienation in Kashmir and pursue the path of dialogue,” he said.

Meanwhile, International Court of Justice will resume hearing in the case of Indian Spy Kulbhushan Jhadav at the Hague today. Islamabad has presented evidence obtained from Commander Jadhav after his arrest, and during the criminal process leading to his conviction as amply demonstrating his activities in fomenting terrorism in Pakistan.

Pakistan maintains that it would be incompatible with international law for someone sent as a spy or terrorist by a state to be afforded access to officials of that State, as India asserts. India will go first in the hearing while Pakistan will make its closing submissions on February 21 and it is expected that the ICJ decision will be delivered by the summer this year. The ICJ has repeatedly stated that it is not a Criminal Court of Appeal and effective review of a conviction is available before the domestic Courts.