Pakistan demands joint probe into India’s accidental missile firing
Pakistan has demanded a joint probe into India’s accidental firing of a missile into Pakistani territory on March 9, 2022.
The Indian government announced on March 11, 2022 that a technical malfunction during routine maintenance led to the accidental firing of the missile. India said it would hold a high-level court of enquiry into the incident, which did not result in any casualties.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, however, that India’s decision to hold an internal inquiry was not sufficient and that the incident raised “fundamental questions” on security protocols and technical safeguards.
“Pakistan demands a joint probe to accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident,” the ministry said in a statement on March 12, 2022.
“The whole incident indicates many loopholes and technical lapses of serious nature in Indian handling of strategic weapons,” the ministry said. “[The] Indian decision to hold an internal court of inquiry is not sufficient since the missile ended up in Pakistani territory. Such a serious matter cannot be addressed with the simplistic explanation proffered by the Indian authorities.”
The missile landed in Mian Channu, in the east of Pakistan, after traveling at 40,000 feet, which Pakistan highlighted could have endangered commercial passenger flights.
The Pakistani ministry in its statement set out a list of questions that it wants to be answered, including demands for India to explain the type and specification of the missile and why India failed to immediately inform Pakistan of the accidental firing.
Pakistan said it had summoned the Charge d’Affaires (Cd’A) of the Republic of India in Islamabad on March 12 and told the Cd’A to convey the Pakistan government’s “serious concerns” and demands for a joint probe to the Indian government.
The Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs also highlighted how the incident had the potential to escalate.
“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 nuclearized environment and play its due role in promoting strategic stability in the region,” the statement concluded.
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