FO rejects India's 'purported closure' of inquiry into missile accidentally fired into Pakistan

Published August 24, 2022
The Foreign Office rejects India’s inquiry into March 9 missile firing. — File photo
The Foreign Office rejects India’s inquiry into March 9 missile firing. — File photo

Pakistan on Wednesday rejected India’s "purported closure" of the inquiry into accidental firing of a supersonic missile into the country on March 9, 2022, reiterating the demand for a joint probe into the incident.

Yesterday, the Indian Air Force said the government had sacked three officers involved in the firing.

"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," it said in a statement.

The BrahMos missile — a nuclear-capable, land-attack cruise missile jointly developed by Russia and India — was fired earlier this year, prompting Pakistan to seek answers from New Delhi on the safety mechanisms in place to prevent accidental launches.

In a statement today, Foreign Officer (FO) spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said that it had seen India’s announcement of the findings regarding the incident and the decision to terminate the services of three officers reportedly found responsible for the reckless incident.

"As expected, the measures taken by India in the aftermath of the incident and the subsequent findings and punishments handed by the so-called internal Court of Inquiry are totally unsatisfactory, deficient, and inadequate."

The spokesperson claimed that India had not only failed to respond to Pakistan's demand for a joint inquiry but also evaded the questions raised by the country regarding the command and control system in place in India, the safety and security protocols, and the reason for its delayed admission of the Missile launch.

"Systemic loopholes and technical lapses of serious nature in the handling of strategic weapons cannot be covered up beneath the veneer of individual human error," he said, asserting that if the neighbouring had nothing to hide then it must accept Pakistan’s demand for a joint probe in the "spirit of transparency".

The FO spokesperson called India's action over the March 9 firing "imprudent", pointing out that it had jeopardized the peace and security environment of the entire region.

"Pakistan’s demonstration of exemplary restraint is a testament to our systemic maturity and abiding commitment to peace as a responsible nuclear state," he said.

The FO reiterated that Pakistan wanted the Indian government to immediately provide specific responses to the queries raised after the incident and accede to its call for a joint probe.

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