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Wednesday November 30, 2022

'Disingenuous': Pakistan lambastes Indian media's reporting on DG IAEA's comments

FO says Indian report is a “disingenuous attempt” by Indian state-sponsored media to absolve their country of its "irresponsible nuclear behaviour"

By Web Desk
November 16, 2022
Ministry of Foreign Affairs building. — Online/File
Ministry of Foreign Affairs building. — Online/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Wednesday termed Indian media reports quoting Director General International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi that the firing of BrahMos nuclear-capable missile into Pakistan’s territory from India on March 2022 was not a cause for any specific concern for the IAEA as “disingenuous.”

The Indian media reported that the BrahMos nuclear-capable missile fired into Pakistan’s territory from India was not a cause for any specific concern for the international nuclear watchdog.

The Foreign Office, in its statement, said that the report is a “disingenuous attempt” by the Indian state-sponsored media to absolve their country of its "irresponsible nuclear behaviour" by directing the question DG IAEA.

"The available transcripts show that DG IAEA responded in negatively when asked whether the IAEA had sought information from the Indian government on the incident. It should have been qualified by stating that IAEA has no mandate on such matters," the statement read.

Pakistan stated that the DG's response cannot be "purposely misinterpreted" to "trivialise" the incident of a nuclear-capable BrahMos missile fire with grave implications for regional and global security.

It added that the incident has raised several questions about India’s conduct as a nuclear state including, whether it was actually an accident.

"India also needs to answer questions about the underlying intentions, technical features and reliability of the missile system, safety, security and nuclear command and control protocols, and the presence of rogue elements in the Indian military," the Foreign Office said in its statement.

Pakistan also demanded India explain several repeated incidents of nuclear and radioactive material theft and illicit trafficking, which are more relevant to the IAEA mandate.

"It was expected to report these nuclear securities-related incidents under the IAEA Incidents and Trafficking Database," the statement read.

Pakistan said that the critical questions, which remain unanswered, should continue to be of concern to the international community.

India misreporting DG IAEA

An Indian media outlet, The Indian Express, had claimed that the IAEA did not see the misfire of the missile as a cause of specific concern and that the matter did not raise questions about the safety of nuclear material and weapons in India.

"Rafael Mariano Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told The Indian Express in an interview at the COP27 climate change meet that the incident was not viewed as a risk and there had been no consultation with the Indian government on this issue," The Indian Express wrote in its news story on November 14.

According to the publication, Grossi said “no, we didn’t” when asked if the IAEA sought information about the incident from the Indian government.

It added that the DG responded in negatively to a question about doubts being raised on the safety of India's nuclear assets.