On Friday, India stated it had accidentally fired the missile into Pakistan because of a “technical malfunction” during routine maintenance.
“On March 9, 2022, in the course of routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile,” read a statement issued by the Indian defence ministry in New Delhi. “The Government of India has taken a serious view and ordered a high-level Court of Enquiry,” it further said.
The explanation from the Indian government comes a day after the DG ISPR revealed at a news conference that an unarmed “high-speed flying object” was fired from India’s Sirsa area into Pakistan that landed in Punjab province’s Mian Chunnu on Wednesday.
Pakistan on Saturday proposed to New Delhi a joint probe into the incident to establish facts since the missile had landed into Pakistani territory. The Foreign Office (FO) also asked why India failed to inform Pakistan immediately about the ‘accidental launch of the missile and raised questions regarding the Indian safeguards against such happenings.
The FO also drew the world’s attention to the serious incident and emphasized its gravity saying a response based on a misinterpretation of the situation, especially in the nuclearised environment, could have been catastrophic.
“Given the short distances and response times, any misinterpretation by the other side could lead to countermeasures in self-defence with grave consequences,” it said.
“Pakistan, therefore, calls 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,” it added.
Although no formal response has been received yet by Pakistan, it appears that India is unlikely to accept the joint investigation. Some Indian news reports quoting anonymous officials as saying that a joint probe was not possible and Pakistan should move forward as a “good neighbour”.
However, Pakistani officials believe that this is not a routine issue that can be dismissed so easily. “We are looking at various options in case India refuses to agree on a joint probe,” the senior official added. He further said that the issue cannot be taken lightly, and Pakistan would continue its efforts, as it plans to take the matter to the UN!