RAWALPINDI: Military spokesman Major General Babar Iftikhar has said the Pakistan Army has nothing to do with politics and the situation would remain the same. "I will again request there should be no unnecessary speculation or discussion on it," he said to a question.
Earlier, Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar on Thursday night in a media briefing revealed that an Indian supersonic missile violated Pakistani airspace on Wednesday evening and fell near Mian Channu in Khanewal district, 124 kilometres inside Pakistan’s territory. Major General Iftikhar said that Air Defence Operation Centre of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) picked a high speed flying object in Indian territory at 1843 hours on Wednesday and then suddenly, it changed track, manoeuvered towards the Pakistani territory and violated Pakistan’s airspace, ultimately falling near Mian Channu.
“We picked it up when it was launched 104 kilometres inside India,” General Babar Iftikhar said adding that the PAF detected it in time and monitored its complete flying path and action and response was perfect. “When it fell, it damaged some civilian property but thankfully caused no loss of life or injury,” he said.
He told reporters that being a responsible state, Pakistan did not make any claims but asked India for an explanation. “It is for India to explain what it was,” he said. He said Pakistan Air Force monitored the complete fly path of the object, its point of origin near Sirsa in India till its point of impact in Mian Channu. The PAF also initiated requisite technical actions as per SoPs.
He said it was important to mention that flying path of the object endangered many commercial flights in the airspace of both the countries and civilian property and human lives on the ground. He said that whatever has caused this incident to happen, it was to be explained by India but it shows total disregard to civil aviation and reflects poorly on their technological and procedural efficiency.
"It could have resulted in an aviation disaster and human loss on the ground." He said the armed forces were ready to deal with any inadvertent or intentional attempt from the adversary. "Pakistan strongly condemns this flagrant violation of its airspace and cautions against recurrence of such incidents,” he said.
Air Vice Marshal Tariq Zia, the spokesman of Pakistan Air Force, said the flying object was travelling at an altitude of 40,000 feet and entered Pakistan’s airspace at the same height. "At this time we can say that it was surface-to-surface supersonic missile but it was unarmed,” he said. He said the total time from pick-up was six minutes and 46 seconds and travel time inside Pakistan was three minutes and 44 seconds.
Major General Iftikhar said that an inquiry into the matter has been launched and forensics are being carried out but confirmed that the supersonic flying object was "most probably a missile," but it was certainly unarmed. "Whatever has caused this, we will wait for an explanation from the Indian side," he reiterated, adding that the Pakistani armed forces are fully prepared to deal with all such scenarios. He said information before launching ballistic missiles is shared but information to launch supersonic missile is not shared.
To a question, the military spokesman said the Pakistan Army has nothing to do with politics and the situation would remain the same. "I will again request there should be no unnecessary speculation or discussion on it," he said.
Responding to a similar question that the name of institution is being taken time and again amid the political turmoil, Major General Babar Iftikhar advised the questioner to ask the same question from those who were pointing fingers at the Pakistan Army.
"There should be some evidence about what they are saying," he said. Speaking about an uptick in terrorism incidents in the country, especially about the Sibi blast a day ago in which seven security officials embraced martyrdom, the DG ISPR said that the country's armed forces were taking "prompt actions" to thwart the nefarious designs of the enemy. "So far, we have killed 80 terrorists during the past few weeks," he said, adding that since the United States has withdrawn its forces from Afghanistan, there are certain terrorist organisations there and "it will require some time to control them."
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