Pakistan Rejects India's Statement About 'Accidental' Missile Launch as Unacceptable
10:11 GMT 15.03.2022 (Updated: 10:12 GMT 15.03.2022)
Beijing has called for a “dialogue” between Pakistan and India over the accidental missile firing incident. China has also urged the two sides to “step up information sharing” and “establish a reporting mechanism” to avoid such incidents in the future. Meanwhile, the US has backed India’s explanation that the incident was just an “accident”.
Minutes after Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that a probe had been launched into an "accidental" missile launch into Pakistan last week, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi rejected New Delhi's explanation, as he reiterated Islamabad's demand that a "joint probe" be launched to address the matter.
"The statement given by the Indian defence minister in Parliament isn't acceptable to Pakistan," Qureshi said at a press conference.
Pakistan's foreign minister further revealed that he had written to the United Nations Secretary General as well the president of the UN Security Council over the incident.
Qureshi criticised the "lack of outrage" over the incident, which he said could have led to a "war between two nuclear states".
The top Pakistani diplomat said he had raised several questions in his communication with the UN.
Islamabad has called upon Delhi to "explain procedures in place to prevent accidental launches", the "flight path" taken by the missile as well as its "type and specification", as per Qureshi.
Pakistan also sought information whether the missile was "equipped with a self-destruct mechanism".
"Why did India fail to inform Pakistan and wait until Pakistan announced the incident?" Qureshi also asked.
India Launches Probe After 'Accidentally' Firing Missile Into Pakistan
India has earlier launched a review of its standard operating procedures (SOPs) guarding the operations, maintenance and inspection of weapons systems after a missile, which got fired accidentally last week
, and landed in neighbouring Pakistan.
"We attach the highest importance to the safety and security of our weapon systems. If any shortcoming is found, it would be immediately rectified," Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament in a statement in Hindi.
Singh underlined that the missile was accidentally launched during “routine maintenance and inspection”.
"While this incident is regretted, we are relieved that nobody was hurt due to the accident," the Indian Defence Minister remarked.
India first admitted on 11 March that a “technical malfunction
” led to the “accidental firing” of a missile, a day after Pakistani military spokesperson Major General Babar Iftikhar held a press conference to disclose the incident.
A release by India’s Ministry of Defence stated that a “high-level court of enquiry” had also been ordered to probe the incident.
Pakistan also lodged a strong protest over the incident with the Indian Charge d’Affaires (Cd’A) at the High Commission in Islamabad on 10 March.
The statement claimed that the “super-sonic flying object” entered Pakistan from Suratgarh city in India’s Rajasthan state, and landed near Mian Channu city in Pakistan's Punjab province, causing damage to civilian property.
“Besides, the flight path of the flying object endangered several domestic/international flights within Pakistani airspace and could have resulted in a serious aviation accident as well as civilian casualties,” Islamabad conveyed to Delhi.
Then, on 12 March, the Pakistani government again summoned the Indian Cd’A and rejected the “simplistic explanations” offered by Delhi.
“He was told to convey to the Government of India Pakistan’s demand for a joint probe in order to accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident,” the Pakistani Foreign Office said at the time.
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