Responding to media queries on claims made by spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (on 15 February) about Pakistan Foreign Secretary’s briefing to the diplomatic corps, the Spokesperson drew attention to the following aspects:
Pakistan had rejected Indian allegations because; these were made within a short time from the attack and without carrying out any investigations. These knee-jerk and pre-conceived accusations were nevertheless consistent with well-rehearsed tactics from Indian playbook after such incidents in the past.
JeM remains a proscribed entity in Pakistan since 2002 and Pakistan is implementing its obligations on sanctions implementation.
As for Indian assertions about “JeM claims of responsibility” and “video of the attacker”, the Spokesperson questioned the selective and self-serving standards that India adhered to in this respect. The Spokesperson drew attention to the clear dichotomy in Indian position. On the one hand, India accepted the unverified social media content as “gold standard”. In contrast, India chose denial when confronted with voluntary confessions and acceptance of responsibility by its serving Naval commander Jadev for perpetrating terrorist violence in Pakistan.
India needs to introspect and respond to questions about its security and intelligence lapses that led to this attack. India owes an explanation on reports of Adil Ahmed Dar’s arrest and custody since 2017.
Pakistan desires normalisation of relations with India. In his letter to Prime Minister 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 at the side-lines of the UNGA and a comprehensive, tangible roadmap for normalisation of ties. It was India which cancelled the meeting on baseless pretexts. Similarly, the Pakistan Kartarpur initiative is another 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 counterproductive. India must come out of the denial mode, end state repression against Kashmiri youth, address widespread alienation in IOK and pursue the path of dialogue.