India fires missile at Pakistan after ‘technical malfunction’ | India

India said it accidentally fired a missile at Pakistan this week due to a “technical malfunction” during routine maintenance, giving its version of events after Pakistan summoned the Indian envoy to protest.

Military experts have in the past warned of the risk of accidents or miscalculations by nuclear-armed neighbors, who have fought three wars and engaged in numerous smaller armed clashes, usually on the disputed territory of Kashmir.

Tensions have eased in recent months and the incident, which may have been the first of its kind, immediately raised questions about security mechanisms.

“On March 9, 2022, during routine maintenance, a technical malfunction resulted in the accidental firing of a missile,” India’s Defense Ministry said in a three-paragraph statement.

“We learn that the missile landed in a region of Pakistan. While the incident is deeply regrettable, it is also a matter of relief that there was no loss of life due to the accident.

The ministry said the government had “taken seriously and ordered a high level court of inquiry”.

Pakistani officials said the missile was unarmed and crashed near the eastern town of Mian Channu, about 500 km (310 miles) from its capital Islamabad.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry has summoned India’s charge d’affaires to Islamabad to protest what it said was an unprovoked violation of its airspace, saying the incident could have endangered passenger flights and civilian lives.

Pakistan warned India “to be aware of the unpleasant consequences of such negligence and to take effective measures to prevent such violations from happening again in the future”.

After India’s admission, Pakistan’s national security adviser Moeed Yusuf said it was “highly irresponsible” for New Delhi not to immediately notify Islamabad of the accidental missile launch.

“The actual circumstances surrounding this incident should also be investigated to determine if it was an inadvertent launch or something more intentional,” Yusuf said on Twitter.

Ayesha Siddiqa, an expert on military affairs and South Asian issues, wrote on Twitter that “India-Pak should talk about risk mitigation.”

“Both states remained confident about nuclear arms control, but what if such accidents happen again and with more serious consequences?”

A senior Pakistani security official told Reuters, on condition of anonymity, that the incident could have escalated into an “unfortunate critical situation”.

“The admission that it was a missile was very nonchalant,” he said. “What does that say about their safety mechanisms and the technical prowess of very dangerous weapons?” The international community needs to take a very close look at this.

The official said it may have been a BrahMos missile – a nuclear-capable land-attack cruise missile jointly developed by Russia and India.

According to the US-based Arms Control Association, the missile’s range is between 300 km (186 miles) and 500 km (310 miles), making it capable of hitting Islamabad from a launch pad north of India.

A Pakistani army spokesman told a press conference on Thursday evening that a ‘high-speed flying object’ had crashed from the northern Indian town of Sirsa in eastern Pakistan.

“The flight path of this object has endangered many domestic and international passenger flights both in Indian and Pakistani airspace, as well as lives and property on the ground,” he said. .

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