Despite the press release, released by the Indian Press Information Bureau’s Defense Wing, which states that the “accidental launch” of an Indian missile into Pakistani territory, on March 9, 2022, was due to a “technical malfunction” and communicates the decision to hold an internal court of inquiry, the Charge d’Affaires (Cd’A) of the Republic of India in Islamabad was summoned to the Foreign Office and conveyed Pakistan’s strong protest over the unprovoked violation of its airspace by an Indian origin ‘super-sonic flying object’ which entered into Pakistan from ‘Suratgarh’ India at 1843 hrs. (PST) on 9 March 2022 and fell to the ground near Mian Chunnu city in Pakistan at around 1850 hrs. the same day causing damage to civilian property.
The Indian diplomat conveyed that the imprudent launch of the flying object not only caused damage to civilian property but also put at risk human lives on the ground. Besides, the flight path of the flying object endangered several domestic/international flights within Pakistani airspace and could have resulted in a serious aviation accident as well as civilian casualties.
Also, the Indian Cd’A was told to convey to the Government of India Pakistan’s strong condemnation of this blatant violation of Pakistani airspace in contravention of the established international norms and Aviation safety protocols. Such irresponsible incidents were also reflective of India’s disregard for Air safety and callousness toward regional peace and stability.
Pakistan calls for a thorough and transparent investigation of the incident, the outcome of which must be shared with Pakistan. Moreover, the Government of India is cautioned to be mindful of the unpleasant consequences of such negligence and take effective measures to avoid the recurrence of such violations in the future.
The grave nature of the incident raises several fundamental questions regarding security protocols and technical safeguards against the accidental or unauthorized launch of missiles in a nuclearized environment. Such a serious matter cannot be addressed with the simplistic explanation proffered by the Indian authorities. Some of the questions that need to be answered include:
– India must explain the measures and procedures in place to prevent accidental missile launches and the particular circumstances of this incident.
– India needs to clearly explain the type and specifications of the missile that fell in Pakistani territory.
– India also needs to explain the flight path/ trajectory of the accidentally launched missile and how it ultimately turned and entered Pakistan?
– Was the missile equipped with a self-destruct mechanism? Why did it fail to actualize?
– Are Indian missiles kept primed for launch even under routine maintenance?
– Why did India fail to immediately inform Pakistan about the accidental launch of the missile and waited to acknowledge it till after Pakistan announced the incident and sought clarification?
– Given the profound level of incompetence, India needs to explain if the missile was indeed handled by its armed forces or some rogue elements?
The whole incident indicates many loopholes and technical lapses of serious nature in the 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. Pakistan demands a joint probe to accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident.
Given the short distances and response times, any misinterpretation by the other side could lead to countermeasures in self-defense with grave consequences. Pakistan, therefore, calls upon the international community to take serious notice of this incident of grave nature in a nuclearized environment and play its due role in promoting strategic stability in the region.
Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke on the telephone with United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG), Mr. Antonio Guterres, today. Views were exchanged on current regional and global issues.
The Foreign Minister briefed the UNSG on the so-called “accidental” firing of a missile by India on 9 March 2022which fell to the ground in Pakistan’s territory. He stressed that it was a blatant violation of Pakistan’s airspace and reflective of India’s disregard for aviation safety as well as regional peace and stability. The Foreign Minister emphasized that Pakistan continued to act with restraint and responsibility.
Noting the multiple shortcomings and technical lapses of a serious nature in India’s management of strategic weapons, the Foreign Minister underscored Pakistan’s demand for a joint probe into the incident. The Foreign Minister added that the incident was consistent with India’s irresponsible conduct and needed to be addressed by the international community, including the UN Security Council.
Pakistan is a responsible state and well matured to handle the situation. It behaved sensibly and has not reached immediately. It has observed the maximum restraints and exercised patience to avoid any escalation. The geopolitical situation is already tense and Pakistan aims to dilute the tension. Pakistan is a peace-loving, mature nation and avoids any war, conflict, or tension. Although Pakistan has the capability to respond but being a responsible peace-loving nation, the visionary leadership has decided to exercise patience.