Saturday 21 May 2022
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Pakistan wants joint probe into Indian missile ‘misfiring’

The Pakistan foreign ministry said the 'grave nature of the incident raises several fundamental questions regarding security protocols and technical safeguards'

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Within 24 h of India’s acknowledgement that a “technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile” that landed in Pakistan, Islamabad has demanded a joint probe to accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident.

India’s Ministry of Defence had expressed “relief that there has been no loss of due to the accident” and said a court of inquiry had been ordered to probe the incident.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release,

We have taken note of the Press Statement by the Indian Press Information Bureau’s Defence Wing regretting the ‘accidental firing’ of the Indian origin missile into Pakistani territory on 9 March 2022 due to “technical malfunction” and (the) decision to hold an internal Court of Inquiry.

Stating that the “grave nature of the incident raises several fundamental questions regarding security protocols and technical safeguards against (the) accidental or unauthorised launch of missiles in a nuclearised environment”, Pakistan asserted that “such a serious matter cannot be addressed with the simplistic explanation proffered by the Indian authorities.”

Raising a bevvy of questions, the Pakistani government called upon its Indian counterpart to explain the measures and procedures in place to prevent accidental missile launches and the particular circumstances of this incident.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry has sought a clear explanation of the type and specifications of the missile that fell in its territory, as well as the flight path/trajectory of the missile. “Was the missile equipped with self-destruct mechanism? Why did it fail to actualize? Are Indian missiles kept primed for launch even under routine maintenance?” it asked. It further questioned why India “failed to immediately inform Pakistan about (the) accidental launch of the missile and waited to acknowledge till after Pakistan announced the incident and sought clarification”.

Terming it as a “profound level of incompetence”, it called upon New Delhi to explain “if the missile was indeed handled by its armed forces or some rogue elements.”

“The whole incident indicates many loopholes and technical lapses of serious nature in Indian handling of strategic weapons,” it noted, adding that, “Indian decision to hold an internal court of inquiry is not sufficient since the missile ended up in Pakistani territory,” as it demanded a joint probe to establish the facts.

“Given the short distances and response times, any misinterpretation by the other side could lead to countermeasures in self-defence with grave consequences. Pakistan, therefore, calls upon the international community to take serious notice of this incident of grave nature in a nuclearised environment and play its due role in promoting strategic stability in the region,” Pakistan said.

Sirf News had reported earlier that sources in the defence establishment had said that the missile was a BrahMos, but the government refused to comment on the exact missile that was ‘misfired’.

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