Saturday, April 20

India fires missile ‘by accident’ at Pakistan


  • The impact damages several civilian structures, but causes no casualties.

  • Islamabad calls the explanations “insufficient” and demands an investigation

The Indian government has confirmed the “accidental” firing of an unarmed missile against Pakistan, in an incident that has caused no casualties and on which the country’s authorities have promised to carry out a full investigation to appease the neighboring country, in the midst of decades of historic confrontations between the two nuclear powers.

According to a statement from the Indian Defense Ministry, the launch occurred last Wednesday, “during a routine maintenance exercise“, when” a technical failure led to the accidental launch of the missile “, which ended up hitting Pakistani territory, damaging several civilian structures.

The Pakistani Army specified that, around 6:30 p.m. that day, military radars captured a “high-speed flying object” that flew more than 100 kilometers within its airspace, at an altitude of 40,000 feet and three times the speed of sound, before crashing in the border province of Punjab. There was no warhead on the missile, so it did not detonate.

Commercial flights in danger

The Pakistani military spokesman, General Babar Iftijar, denounced that the missile had left a military base near the Indian town of Sirsa — a fortified city in the state of Haryana — “endangering many domestic and international, not to mention human lives and property on land.

Experts consulted by Bloomberg recall that India also tends to make its missile tests in the Bay of Bengal and not in the west of the country, above all precisely so as not to fuel tension with its neighbour. Also, despite their disputes, both countries have agreed to inform each other of any trials.

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“many loopholes”

Pakistan has described the explanation offered by India as “insufficient” and has demanded that the Indian government carry out a joint investigation by both countries to clarify what happened. “The whole incident indicates many loopholes and technical failures of a serious nature in the Indian handling of strategic weapons. The Indian decision to organize a internal court of inquiry it is not enough since the missile ended up in Pakistani territory. Pakistan demands a joint investigation to accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Despite “having taken note” of the Indian explanation, the Foreign Affairs text demanded from the Government of the neighboring country a less “simplistic” explanation about the incident. The Pakistani statement demands to clarify the type and specifications of the missile; explain its flight path, which suddenly turned and entered Pakistani airspace; or explain whether the projectile was equipped with a self-destruct mechanism, and if so, why it did not activate.

He also claims to know whether the Indian missiles remain ready for launch even during routine maintenance, why the Indian authorities did not immediately inform Pakistan of the accidental shotand whether the missile was actually flown by the Indian Air Force, or was instead launched by rebel groups.

“nuclearized environment”

In its statement, Pakistan also called on the international community to take note of the incident “in a nuclearized environment” and push forward “the strategic stability” in a region where he warned that “any misunderstanding (…) could lead to self-defense countermeasures with serious consequences.”

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Related news

Diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan traditionally oscillate between open confrontation and almost complete paralysis, after three armed conflicts, two of them over the disputed region of Kashmir, and between mutual accusations of attacks on both sides of the border. .

Spikes in violence are frequent, as happened in 2019, when a terrorist attack in India caused the most serious military escalation in more than a decade: at least 40 Indian paramilitary policemen in Indian Kashmir as a result of an attack that led to the first Indian air raids on Pakistani soil since 1971, leading to dogfight. Tensions eased when Pakistan returned a captured Indian pilot.


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