‘Accidentally fired missile’: Pakistan demands joint probe with India

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Pakistan Saturday demanded a joint probe to accurately establish the facts surrounding the missile fiasco a day after India acknowledged that a “technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile” which landed in Pakistan.

“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 decision to hold an internal Court of Inquiry,” Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.

It said that grave nature of the incident raises several fundamental questions regarding security protocols and technical safeguards against accidental or unauthorized launch of missiles in a nuclearized environment.

“Such a serious matter cannot be addressed with the simplistic explanation proffered by the Indian authorities,” the statement said.

It also called upon the Indian government to explain the measures and procedures in place to prevent accidental missile launches and the particular circumstances of this incident.

Pakistan foreign ministry has sought a clear explanation on 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 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 counter measures 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,” the press release stated.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence has expressed “relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident” and said a Court of Inquiry had been ordered.

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