ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has raised multiple questions about a missile launched from India that landed in its territory, urging New Delhi to launch a joint investigation into the matter rather than acting unilaterally.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told a news conference in Islamabad that the explanation from the Indian side is not enough. He also said that Pakistan does not accept India’s unilateral investigation into the incident.
Two days after the incident, New Delhi stated that “in the course of a routine maintenance, a technical malfunctioning led to the accidental firing of a missile,” which landed in Mian Chunnu, a town in the northeastern Punjab province, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) from the Indian border.
“Last night I spoke with the UN Secretary-General (Antonio Guterres) and also wrote letters to him and the president of the UN Security Council about the blatant violation of the Pakistan airspace,” Qureshi elaborated.
Qureshi has raised several questions to India.
The foreign minister said New Delhi must explain the flight path and trajectory of the ‘accidentally’ launched missile, as well as how it eventually turned and entered Pakistan.
They also are seeking a response from India about whether the missile was equipped with a self-destruct mechanism and why it was never activated, he added.
Qureshi raised questions to India demanding answers:
“Are Indian missiles kept primed for launch even under routine maintenance? Why did New Delhi fail to inform Pakistan immediately about the accidental launch of the missile and waited to acknowledge until Pakistan announced the incident and sought clarification?
“Given the profound level of incompetence, India needs to explain if the missile was indeed handled by its armed forces or some rogue elements,” he added.
Pakistan’s army has warned that incidents like the “accidental” firing of the Indian missile could act as a “trigger” and “seriously endanger regional peace and strategic stability.”
Earlier on Tuesday, India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament that the government is taking the event seriously and has initiated a formal high-level inquiry.
The foreign minister also alleged that Indian diplomats in Islamabad were working around the clock to disrupt the OIC summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad in a week’s time.