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After Pakistan's claim, India says missile incident an accident and it is 'deeply regrettable'


After Pakistan's claim, India says missile incident an accident and it is 'deeply regrettable'
The government stated that the incident is "deeply regrettable", however, it also expressed relife as there has been no loss of life due to the accident. (Representational Image)



The government stated that the incident is "deeply regrettable", however, it also expressed relife as there has been no loss of life due to the accident. (Representational Image) 


The Indian government on Friday clarified that the incident of accidentally firing a missile, that happened on March 9, 2022 at an area in Pakistan, was due to a technical malfunction.

"On 9 March 2022, in the course of a routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile," noted the government in an official statement. 

The missile had landed in Pakistan, though, no casualties have had been reported yet, the government added.

It also noted that it has "a serious view and ordered a high-level Court of Enquiry." The government stated that the incident is "deeply regrettable", however, it also expressed relief as there has been no loss of life due to the accident. 

"It is learnt that the missile landed in an area of Pakistan. While the incident is deeply regrettable, it is also a matter of relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident," the statement read.

India's clarification comes hours after Pakistan had summoned India's Charge d'Affaires to Islamabad. Pakistan's government had conveyed its strong protest over the alleged unprovoked violation of its airspace by an Indian-origin ''super-sonic flying object'' and sought a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident that could have resulted in a serious aviation accident.

Pakistan had summoned Indian diplomat to the Foreign Office where he was told about the alleged violation of its airspace by an Indian-origin "super-sonic flying object" which entered into Pakistan from Suratgarh in India at 6:43 PM (local time) on March 9, Pakistan's Foreign Office explained in a statement.

The object later fell on the ground near Mian Chunnu city in Pakistan's Punjab province at around 6:50 PM, causing damage to civilian property." The Indian diplomat was conveyed that the imprudent launch of the flying object not only caused damage to civilian property but also put at risk human lives on ground," the Foreign Office (FO) said.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also voiced concern over the incident.

In a statement, Qureshi alleged that India had endangered innocent lives by violating Pakistan's airspace as flights of Saudi and Qatar airlines, as well as domestic flights, could have been hit. He said Pakistan would decide its next step after receiving India's explanation, adding that envoys of P-5 countries (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) will be called to the Foreign Office and briefed about the incident.

''India will have to be answerable for this,'' he said.

Air Vice Marshall Tariq Zia, who addressed a press conference on Thursday, said that at the time the projectile was picked up by the Pakistani military, there were two active airway routes and several commercial airlines were in the area. ''If you look at the speed and height of the projectile, it was 40,000 feet high, and the airlines were between 35,000 to 42,000 feet. This could have been very detrimental to the safety of passengers.'' The projectile travelled 124 kilometres inside Pakistani territory in three minutes and 44 seconds, he added.

The FO also said the flight path of the flying object endangered several domestic/international flights within the Pakistani airspace and could have resulted in a serious aviation accident as well as civilian casualties, it said.

"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," the FO said. Pakistan also asked India for a thorough and transparent investigation of the incident, the outcome of which must be shared with it.

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 future, said the FO.

Separately, Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Babar Iftikhar said that on March 9, a hi-speed flying object was picked up inside the Indian territory by the Air Defence Operations Center of the Pakistan Air Force.

"Pakistan strongly protests this flagrant violation and cautions against recurrence of any such incident in future," he said.

"Pakistan Air Force continuously monitored the complete flight path of the flying object from its point of origin Sirsa in India till its point of impact near Mian Channu and initiated requisite tactical actions in accordance with standard operating procedures," he said.

He said India should explain whatever caused this incident to happen.

(With PTI inputs) 

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