Pakistan Presses for Joint Probe Over India's 'Accidental' Missile Launch

© Flickr / bm1632Pakistan
Pakistan - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.03.2022
On Thursday, Pakistan said it had downed an Indian supersonic surface-to-surface missile, with the country's air defence system destroying the rocket before it fell inside its territory, near the city of Mian Channu in Punjab province.
A day after the Indian Defence Ministry's admission that it had "accidentally" launched a missile towards Pakistan, Islamabad sought a joint probe into the incident.
Islamabad questioned New Delhi's honesty, asking why India didn't inform Pakistan almost immediately after knowing that the missile test had gone awry.
Expressing deep regret over the incident, India said on Friday that a "technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of the missile".
The Indian government also declared that a "high-level court of enquiry" has been ordered to investigate the incident.
However, Pakistan's Foreign Office (FO) said that it wasn't satisfied with India's "simplistic explanation", because an incident involving a missile from a nuclear-armed neighbour was a matter of grave concern.

"The grave nature of the incident raises several fundamental questions regarding security protocols and technical safeguards against accidental or unauthorised launch of missiles in a nuclearised environment", it said in a statement cited by several Pakistani media outlets, including Dawn.

"Indian decision to hold an internal court of inquiry is not sufficient since the missile ended up in Pakistani territory. Pakistan demands a joint probe to accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident", the FO's statement added.
The Indian Ministry of Defence said that the incident is "deeply regrettable", adding that "it is a matter of relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident".
The "accidental" missile launch from India comes against the backdrop of an improvement of relations between the two bitter rivals, which have fought three wars since gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1947.
Last year, the two countries agreed to a ceasefire along the Kashmir border after talks were held between their respective directors general of military operations. Earlier this month, the two South Asian nations held a dialogue on exchanging hydrological and flood data of the Indus River, which flows through India into Pakistan.
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