India orders high-level probe into accidental firing of missle at Pak
Pakistan on Friday summoned India’s Charge d’Affaires in Islamabad and conveyed its strong protest over the alleged unprovoked violation of its airspace by an Indian missile and sought a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident that could have resulted in a serious aviation accident. India’s Defence Ministry regretted the incident that happened due to “technical malfunction to the accidental firing of the missile” and said that they are probing the incident.
The Indian diplomat who was summoned to the Foreign Office was told about the violation of its airspace by an Indian-origin “super-sonic flying object” which entered into Pakistan from Suratgarh in India at 6:43 PM (local time) on March 9, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement. The object later fell on the ground near Mian Chunnu city in Pakistan’s Punjab province at around 6:50 PM on the same day, causing damage to civilian property.
Regretting the incident, India’s Defence Ministry also said a Court of Enquiry was instituted to ascertain the cause of the accident and said the Indian government has taken a very serious view. It is a matter of relief that there was no loss of life due to the accident, said Defence Ministry in a statement.
“On 9 March 2022, in the course of routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile. The Government of India has taken a serious view and ordered a high-level Court of Enquiry. It is learned that the missile landed in an area of Pakistan. While the incident is deeply regrettable, it is also a matter of relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident,” India’s Defence Ministry statement said.
Pakistan on Thursday said an unarmed Indian supersonic missile took off from Sirsa and landed at a place 124 km within Pakistani territory on Wednesday evening. The missile, it said, was cruising at an altitude of 40,000 feet and endangered passenger flights in both Indian and Pakistani airspace, and also civilians and property on the ground.
Major General Babar Iftikhar, Director General, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) of Pakistan Armed Forces said at 1843 hours on March 9, “a high-speed flying object was picked up inside Indian flying territory by Air Defence Operations Centre of the Pakistani Air Force. From its initial course, the object suddenly maneuvered towards Pakistani territory and violated Pakistan’s airspace ultimately falling near Mia Channu.”
There were no human casualties. While there were no sensitive installations in the area where it landed, a wall did fall, the Pakistan military said. “Whatever caused this incident to happen, it is for the Indians to explain,” he said. Pakistan “strongly protests this flagrant violation and cautions against recurrence of any such incident in future”, he said.
According to a 2005 agreement between India and Pakistan on pre-notification of flight testing of ballistic missiles, each country has to notify the other at least three days in advance of the flight test it wants to undertake whether surface-to-surface, land, or sea-launched missiles. It also stipulates the launch sites should not fall within 40 km from either the International Boundary or the Line of Control (LOC) and the planned impact area should not fall within 75 km.
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