ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Thursday rubbished Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s farcical claim of surgical strikes.

Addressing a weekly news briefing here, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammed Faisal said Pakistan had already categorically dismissed the farcical allegations of the so-called surgical strike, which was nothing but a figment of Indian imagination and a tenuous relationship with truth.

“Constant repetition of a fallacious claim does not make it real. The Indian government is increasingly sounding like a broken record. Indian hegemonic designs were an open secret and have subjected the region to a compulsive arms race,” he said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Modi claimed that New Delhi had contacted Islamabad before the ‘surgical strike’ inside Pakistan last year. Faisal said Pakistan believed in mutual respect and a policy of peaceful coexistence, “but our armed forces are well prepared and vigilant to respond befittingly to any threat to the motherland.”

History, he said, was replete with instances of Pakistan being back-stabbed by India, rather than the other way around. “It is India which continues to sponsor of acts of terrorism in Pakistan. Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan’s custody is the living proof of who exports terror,” he said.

Faisal said there was no bigger example of India’s state terrorism in Pakistan than the apprehension of Kulbhushan Jadhav, adding India’s response submitted in the International Court of Justice had been received in the Foreign Office.

Pakistan, Faisal said, had repeatedly seen attempts in India to externalise internal problems or dragging in Pakistan for electoral gains. “Baseless Indian allegations are just sad political gimmickry, an absurd attempt to put on a show to divert attention from such heinous incidents and its abject failure. India should take care of the skeletons in its closet and not drag other countries in ploys to secure votes,” he added.

The spokesperson said the Indian government had come under immense criticism about the brutal Kathua rape of 8-year-old Asifa who was kidnapped, held in a temple, repeatedly raped and then bludgeoned to death.

He said the brutal, heinous murder is an indication of the inhuman manner in which rape was systemically used as a tool of subjugation in held Kashmir.

The spokesperson said the widespread protests against the complete failure of the Indian government to bring the perpetrators to justice, especially when government was complicit in such incidents, has exposed the deepening fissures in Indian society and the government. 

“This criticism is not confined to India but has spread to the whole world, including UK and Sweden. All this is happening even while atrocities and human rights violation by Indian occupation forces continue in held Kashmir including the shelling, cane charges and tear gas attacks by Indian forces on unarmed innocent students,” he said.

Asked about the issue of putting the name of US Colonel Joseph Emanuel’s name on the Exit Control List, he said: “We are awaiting the outcome of preliminary investigations from Islamabad police, based on which further actions would be initiated. Articles 31 and 32 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961 deal with diplomatic immunity. He will be treated under Pakistan’s Diplomatic and Consular Privileges Act 1972, which gives effect to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961 and Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963.”

Regarding travel restrictions on Pakistani diplomats in Washington, he said: “We have received official communication regarding certain measures that the US intends to implement from May 1. The issue is primarily of reciprocity. Both sides are in touch and we are hopeful that the matter will be resolved.”

He said when illegal Pakistani immigrants cross over into Iranian territory, the Iranian relevant authorities take them into custody and hand them over to relevant Pakistan authorities at Taftan border.  “Both the sides are engaged in strengthening cooperation on border management to stop the illegal movement of immigrants,” he said.

Faisal said Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei in his statement had stressed on Iran’s support to the resistance shown by Muslims wherever they face tyranny, including in Jammu and Kashmir.

“We appreciate Iranian supreme leader’s enunciation of support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. After the recent surge of Indian state terrorism in Indian occupation forces, our Foreign Minister talked with his Iranian counterpart and Iran has condemned the Indian brutalities in Kashmir. International community is concerned about continued Indian barbarism and human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir,” he added.

On Afghanistan, he said Pakistan’s Frontier Corps troops deployed along Pak-Afghan border at Kurram Agency came under fire from the Afghan side, while they were on routine patrolling and fencing activity on the border.  “The Afghan border security forces, assisted by Afghan tribesmen, fired on our troops, resulting in death of five soldiers. The Afghan border forces and tribesmen also got hold of the bodies of our troops and detained one soldier. As there were a large number of tribesmen on Afghan side, our troops exercised utmost restraint to avoid civilian causalities,” he elaborated.

Faisal said Pakistan, via diplomatic and military channels, immediately engaged the Afghan authorities to hold border flag meeting to help resolve the situation.

“A border flag meeting was held between the commanders of the two forces and situation was amicably defused. Afghan side handed over bodies of five Pakistani FC personnel and the detained sepoy to Pakistan. In their engagement, the two sides emphasised the need for further enhancing border coordination to avoid recurrence of such incidents in the future,” he said.

The spokesperson said Pakistan supported an Afghan-led peace process in the war-torn country. He said during the past years, the government has made significant efforts in all relevant areas to meet the standards for the elimination of human trafficking by increasing investigations, prosecutions, and convictions.

About the Syria conflict, he said Pakistan condemned the use of chemical weapons anywhere by anyone. “It is important to establish facts through urgent and transparent investigations by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” he remarked.

He did not comment on a question about Chinese nationals coming to Pakistan for business purposes having ‘criminal backgrounds’ but said the Chinese authorities were extending full cooperation on all matters.