After a huge setback at the International Court of Justice in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, Pakistan on Thursday said it does not accept the UN court's jurisdiction in matters related to national security.
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria also hit out at India, saying the country has been "trying to hide its real face" by taking the case of Jadhav to ICJ.
"We do not accept the jurisdiction of the ICJ in matters related to the national security of the country," Zakaria was quoted as saying by the Dunya TV.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Attorney General's Office said the ICJ has just maintained status quo in the case and Islamabad is determined to pursue this case to its logical end.
Talking to the state-run Pakistan Television after the ruling was delivered, Zakaria said India has been "trying to hide its real face" by taking the case of Jadhav to ICJ.
"The real face of India will be exposed before the world," he said, adding that Jadhav has confessed his crimes of sabotage, terrorism and subversion activities not once but twice.
Jadhav, 46, was sentenced to death in March by a Pakistani military court and India approached the highest UN judicial body with the plea to stay his execution.
The Hague-based ICJ heard the two sides on Monday where Pakistan had challenged the jurisdiction of the court as part of its argument. However, the court in its decision prime facie exercised the jurisdiction and accepted Indian pleas.
The court today instructed Pakistan to take all "necessary measures at its disposal" to ensure that Jadhav was not executed pending a final decision by it.
Zakaria said Pakistan has already informed the ICJ that it does not accept its jurisdiction in matters related to the national security.
However, he said Pakistan "will present solid evidence against the Indian spy in the International Court.”
Earlier, Zakaria said at the weekly press briefing that India was trying to portray Jadhav's case "as a humanitarian issue to divert the world's attention from its role in fomenting terrorism" inside Pakistan.
"After India stood exposed in state sponsored terrorism and financing terrorism, it tried to divert attention from presenting the Kulbushan Jadhav case with a humanitarian angle," he said.
He said Pakistan's position was clear as it was a matter of national security. He said Pakistan's reply to ICJ was in line with Article 36 (2) of the Vienna Convention that Pakistan does not recognise the jurisdiction of the ICJ in this case.
Determined to pursue this case to its logical end, says Pakistan Attorney General
In a statement issued after the verdict, Pakistan Attorney General's Office said the ICJ "has stated that by way of provisional measures, the status quo be maintained in the case of Commander Jadhav."
"The Court has clearly underscored that the provisional measures are without prejudice to the final determination of the merits and jurisdiction of the case. The provisional measures are a procedural process only to enable the Court to have full consideration at a later hearing. These measures have no bearing whatsoever on the final decision of the Court," the statement said.
"Pakistan attended the hearing out of its utmost respect for the Court and pursuant to the established jurisprudence that the challenge to jurisdiction can be made via appearance and not by abstaining from the process. In addition, Pakistan attended because of its conviction that the only way to resolve all outstanding issues is through peaceful means.
We are confident that India would not be able to hide the subversive activities it is trying to carry out through its agents like Commander Jadhav," it said.
Pakistan said that India has no substance in the case and the ICJ's verdict has not changed the status of Jadhav's case in any manner.
"In our submissions on 15 May, we had assured the Court unambiguously that Commander Jadhav would be provided every opportunity and remedy available under the law to defend his case. Commander Jadhav still has ample time to petition for clemency," it said.
"We had in our presentation on 15 May, proposed to the court that a final hearing be held on the merits and maintainability of the case as early as possible. We are determined to pursue this case to its logical end," it said.