Wednesday Aug 24, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday “categorically” rejected India’s “purported closure of the highly irresponsible” firing of a rogue supersonic missile into Pakistani territory and reiterated “its demand for a joint probe”.
“We have seen India’s announcement of the findings of an internal Court of Inquiry regarding the incident of firing of a rogue supersonic missile into Pakistani territory on 9 March, 2022 and the decision to terminate the services of three Indian Air Force (IAF) officers reportedly found responsible for the reckless incident. Pakistan categorically rejects India’s purported closure of the highly irresponsible incident and reiterates its demand for a joint probe,” said the Foreign Office spokesperson in a statement.
The spokesperson said that the measures taken by New Delhi were “totally unsatisfactory, deficient and inadequate”.
“India has not only failed to respond to Pakistan's demand for a joint inquiry but has also evaded the questions raised by Pakistan regarding the command and control system in place in India, the safety and security protocols and the reason for India’s delayed admission of the missile launch,” said the spokesperson.
Islamabad stated that the “systemic loopholes and technical lapses of serious nature in handling of strategic weapons cannot be covered up beneath the veneer of individual human error”.
“If indeed India has nothing to hide then it must accept Pakistan’s demand for a joint probe in the spirit of transparency. The imprudent Indian action of March 9, 2022 had jeopardized the peace and security environment of the entire region. Pakistan’s demonstration of exemplary restraint is a testament of our systemic maturity and abiding commitment to peace as a responsible nuclear state,” said the spokesperson.
Pakistan also called for the Indian government to “immediately provide specific responses to the queries raised” by Islamabad after the incident.
A day earlier, the Indian Air Force said the government had sacked three officers for "accidentally" firing a missile into Pakistan in March, an incident that the two nuclear-armed rivals handled calmly as there were no casualties.
The BrahMos missile — a nuclear-capable, land-attack cruise missile jointly developed by Russia and India — was fired on March 9, prompting Pakistan to seek answers from New Delhi on the safety mechanisms in place to prevent accidental launches.
"A Court of Inquiry, set up to establish the facts of the case, including fixing responsibility for the incident, found that deviation from the Standard Operating Procedures by three officers led to the accidental firing of the missile," the air force said in a statement.
It said the government had dismissed the three officers with immediate effect on Tuesday.
According to the US-based Arms Control Association, the BrahMos missile's range is between 300 km (186 miles) and 500 km (310 miles), making it capable of hitting Pakistan's capital Islamabad from a northern Indian launch pad.