India 'deeply regrets' accidental firing of missile into Pakistan

India 'deeply regrets' accidental firing of missile into Pakistan

New Delhi (Web Desk): India on Friday expressed regret over a missile that entered Pakistan and fell in Mian Channu area of Khanewal district, attributing the incident to a "technical malfunction".

In a statement, Indian Ministry of Defense said that the Government of India has taken a serious view and ordered a high-level court of enquiry into a missile that entered into Pakistan.

The statement added the incident is deeply regrettable, but it is a matter of relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident.

The Indian defence ministry's statement comes a day after Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Major General Babar Iftikhar briefed the media about the incident, calling for an explanation from Delhi.

Addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi on Thursday, Major General Babar Iftikhar said that an Indian "high speed flying object" entered the Pakistani airspace and fell near Mian Chunnu in Khanewal district, causing some damage to the surrounding areas.

"Pakistan strongly protested s this flagrant violation and cautions against recurrence of any such incident in the future," the DG ISPR said.

He said that the incident occurred on March 9, when a high-speed flying object was detected inside the Indian territory by the PAF Air Defence Operation System.

The object was picked up at 18:43pm which after remaining airborne, suddenly manoeuvred from its initial course and intruded into the Pakistani territory. He described it as “a supersonic flying object, most probably a missile, but it was certainly unarmed.”

He said the Pakistan Air Force continuously monitored the complete flying path of the object, from its point of origin near Sirsa in India to its point of impact, near Mian Channu and “initiated requisite tactical actions.”

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed concern over the incident, saying that the international community and aviation bodies should take notice.

He said Pakistan would decide its next step after receiving India's explanation, adding that envoys of P-5 countries (permanent members of the United Nations Security Council) would be called to the FO and briefed about the incident.

FM Qureshi said Pakistan does not want aggression rather wants cordial relations with all its neighbours including India.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan summoned Charge d'Affaires of India to Foreign Office to convey Pakistan's strong protest over the unprovoked violation of its airspace by an Indian origin 'super-sonic flying object'.

In a statement, Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said that the Indian diplomat was conveyed that imprudent launch of flying object not only caused damage to civilian property but also put at risk human lives on ground.

He said that flight path of flying object endangered several domestic and international flights within Pakistani airspace and could have resulted in a serious aviation accident.

"Such irresponsible incidents were also reflective of India's disregard for Air safety and callousness towards regional peace and stability," the statement said.

The FO called for a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident, the outcome of which must be shared with Pakistan.

"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," the FO statement said.