KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Pakistan on Saturday demanded a joint probe into the firing of an Indian missile that landed in Pakistani territory earlier this week.
New Delhi on Friday acknowledged that “in the course of a routine maintenance, a technical malfunctioning led to the accidental firing of a missile” that landed in Mian Chunnu town of northeastern Punjab province, some 250 kilometers from the Indian border on March 9.
Regretting the incident, India said it had ordered an inquiry into the “accidental” firing of the missile.
Islamabad, however, said the “grave” nature of the incident raises several fundamental questions regarding “security protocols and technical safeguards against the 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 Foreign Ministry said in a statement demanding a further explanation from New Delhi.
Rejecting New Delhi’s announcement for the inquiry, Islamabad said that an “internal court of inquiry” is not sufficient since the missile ended up in Pakistani territory.
“India must explain the measures and procedures in place to prevent accidental missile launches and the particular circumstances of this incident,” the statement said, calling for an explanation on the “type and specifications “of the missile.
Also, Islamabad went on to argue whether the missile was equipped with self-destruct mechanism and why it failed to actualize.
“Why did India fail to immediately inform Pakistan about the accidental launch of the missile and wait to acknowledge till after Pakistan announced the incident and sought clarification?” the statement added.
“Given the profound level of incompetence, India needs to explain if the missile was indeed handled by its armed forces or some rogue elements?”
Given the short distances and response times, the statement warned, any “misinterpretation by the other side could lead to countermeasures 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.