Tuesday February 27, 2024

Missile issue: Pakistan asks India why it was not informed immediately

March 13, 2022
Missile issue: Pakistan asks India why it was not informed immediately

ISLAMABAD: Completely dissatisfied with the explanation that the Indian Press Information Bureau’s Defence Wing gave -- for what it said was ‘accidental firing’ of a missile into Pakistani territory on March 9 -- the Foreign Office (FO) instead demanded ‘a joint probe’ to accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident.

A senior official told The News, “This is a public statement we have issued today, but it does not end here. We will be taking up this very serious issue with India at different levels and at different forums.”

Pakistan is also worried that given the profound level of incompetence, India needs to explain if the missile was indeed handled by its armed forces or some ‘rogue elements'.

Pakistan has also called upon the international community to take serious notice of this incident of grave nature, in a nuclearised environment, and play its due role in promoting strategic stability in the region.

The FO says it has taken note of the Indian statement that the firing was due to a “technical malfunction”, and that it had decided to hold an internal court of inquiry but this was not enough for such a “nuclearised environment“.

”The grave nature of the incident raises several fundamental questions regarding security protocols and technical safeguards against accidental or unauthorised launch of missiles in a nuclearised environment. Such a serious matter cannot be addressed with the simplistic explanation proffered by the Indian authorities”, said the Foreign Office.

Pakistan is now awaiting answers to some of the questions it has asked in this public statement. Maybe when further contacts are made, more questions will also be asked.

For now Pakistan is demanding answers to seven questions.

”India must explain the measures and procedures in place to prevent accidental missile launches and the particular circumstances of this incident, and also to clearly explain the type and specifications of the missile that fell in Pakistani territory”, said the Foreign Office.

India has also been asked to explain the flight path/trajectory of the accidentlly launched missile and how it ultimately turned and entered into Pakistan.

Important for India is also to inform Pakistan if the missile was equipped with self-destruct mechanism and why it failed to actualise.

Pakistan is demanding knowing whether Indian missiles are kept primed for launch even under routine maintenance.

Most important for Pakistan a question that India has as yet been unable to reply to, “Why did India fail to immediately inform Pakistan about accidental launch of the missile and waited to acknowledge till after Pakistan announced the incident and sought clarification?”

India has been clearly told that the whole incident indicates many loopholes and technical lapses of serious nature in Indian handling of strategic weapons.

“Indian decision to hold an internal court of inquiry is not sufficient since the missile ended up in Pakistani territory,” the FO said.

“Given the short distances and response times, any misinterpretation by the other side could lead to counter measures in self-defence with grave consequences,” warned the Foreign Office.

Nadeem Shah from Multan adds: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday said that India's firing of a missile in Pakistan was a very irresponsible move.

If the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was not monitoring the whole situation, reaction from Pakistan could have disrupted peace due to Indian irresponsibility.

He said that the Foreign Office summoned the acting Indian High Commissioner and warned him over irresponsible attitude.

He said they were waiting for the appropriate response from India.

The Foreign Office invited the United States, permanent members of the Security Council, including China and France, and expressed its concerns. India says it was an accident and if so, who was responsible for the damage. The action had exposed weakness of Indian system, he said.

The foreign minister said that the International Aviation Authority should take notice of violations of the law. International organisations, including the United Nations, should take action on humanitarian grounds and bring those responsible to justice. Indian media is saying had it been done by Pakistan, the media would have caught fire. It should be highlighted not only nationally but also globally, he said.

He said Pakistan wanted to resolve the issue of Russia and Ukraine through negotiations. Pakistan suffered the consequences of twenty years of war and paid a heavy price for it besides sacrificing thousands of precious human lives.

International organisations must work on a humanitarian basis. Pakistan would soon send assistance for the people of Ukraine on humanitarian grounds.