Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua on Sunday briefed envoys from Africa and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states on Islamabad’s position on the recent deadly attack targeting Indian occupation forces in Held Kashmir’s Pulwama area, and New Delhi’s “knee-jerk” reaction blaming Pakistan and threatening it. Janjua “recalled a familiar pattern of India blaming Pakistan instantly after such incidents without any investigation”, the Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal tweeted. A day earlier, the foreign secretary had taken envoys from the European Union and non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, on board to clear Islamabad’s position over the Indian campaign against it. The Foreign Office (FO) tweeted that a “deliberate anti-Pakistan frenzy is being spurred in India”, and warned that “baseless Indian allegations and aggressive rhetoric are counterproductive and a threat to regional peace”. A separate FO statement explained that Pakistan had rejected India’s allegations because they were “made within a short time from the attack and without carrying out any investigations”. “These knee-jerk and preconceived accusations were nevertheless consistent with well-rehearsed tactics from the Indian playbook after such incidents in the past,” the statement added. The FO stressed Pakistan’s desire for normalisation of ties with India and recalled Prime Minister Imran Khan’s letter to Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. “Prime Minister Khan followed his intention of taking two steps if India takes one with the proposal for both foreign ministers to meet at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly 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,” the statement continued. “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 IOK and pursue the path of dialogue,” the statement asserted. The Foreign Office statement also raised questions over India’s acceptance of a video released by the attacker claiming to have ties to the Jaish-i-Mohammad (JeM). “As for Indian assertions about ‘JeM claims of responsibility’ and the purported ‘video of the attacker’, the FO spokesperson questioned the selective and self-serving standards that India adhered to in this respect. The spokesperson drew attention to the clear dichotomy in the Indian position,” the press release said. “On 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 Kulbhushan Jadhav for perpetrating terrorist violence in Pakistan,” the FO noted. ‘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.” “JeM remains a proscribed entity in Pakistan since 2002 and Pakistan is implementing its obligations on sanctions implementation,” the FO added. Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Paul on Friday said that the Pulwama attack was partly the result of an intelligence failure because security forces were unable to detect the loading and movement of the attacker’s vehicle, according to The Indian Express. “We cannot accept that (intelligence failure). We could not detect or check the vehicle full of explosives moving on the highway. We must accept that we are at fault also,” he had said. He explained that Indian security forces conducting operations against Kashmiris had not received any warning or intelligence about any of them being trained to become a suicide bomber. “The fact that we did not know […] is also a part of the intelligence failure. I can admit that.” “This man [the attacker] was very much on our list of suspects. But due to the pressure they were under, no one was giving them shelter in their homes. So he must have escaped to the jungles or the hills and got lost. We knew about him but could not trace him. This was just a chance thing and he was the rare one who got away. The rest have been getting killed,” he had said. Meanwhile, Indian authorities on Sunday withdrew the “security cover” provided to five Kashmiri leaders, including All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, according to Indian media reports. Security cover for Shabir Shah, Hashim Qureshi, Bilal Lone and Abdul Ghani Bhat has also been removed. “No security cover will be provided under any pretext to these five leaders and other separatists,” a security official told The Indian Express. Farooq, while reacting to the withdrawal, said that he and other separatist leaders have “never asked for security” and called the development a “non-issue”, The Indian Express reported. Moreover, a complete shutdown is being observed in Indian-held Kashmir against the alleged harassment and attacking of Kashmiri citizens in India and the valley over the past two days. Published in Daily Times, February 18th 2019.