Pakistan on Saturday demanded a joint investigation after India admitted that it had “accidentally fired” a missile into the country because of a “technical malfunction”, The Indian Express reported.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the incident indicated many serious “loopholes and technical lapses” in “Indian handling of strategic weapons”.
After Pakistan on Thursday summoned India’s charge d’affaires, the defence ministry expressed regret and said a court of inquiry had been ordered into the matter. Officials in Pakistan said the missile was unarmed and had crashed near Mian Channu city in Khanewal district, about 500 km from capital Islamabad.
Stating that they took note of the statement from India, the Pakistan foreign ministry said that there cannot be “simplistic explanation” for such a grave incident.
The statement said the Court of Inquiry ordered by Indian authorities is insufficient and that a joint investigation would help “accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident”.
Pakistan also said the incident raises “fundamental questions” about safety protocols and technical safeguards to prevent the accidental launch of missiles in a “nuclearised environment”.
The Pakistani foreign ministry also raised a series of questions for India to answer, reported Dawn.
Given the “profound level of incompetence”, the statement said India needs to explain if the missile was handled by its “armed forces or some rogue elements”.
Other queries include details of the measures in place to prevent accidental missile launches, specifications of the projectile that landed in Pakistan, its trajectory and why it failed to “actualise”.
The foreign ministry also sought to know why India had failed to inform Pakistan immediately about the accidental launch of the missile and waited to acknowledge till Pakistan raised alarm and sought clarification from New Delhi.
“Given the short distances and response times, any misinterpretation by the other side could lead to counter measures in self-defence with grave consequences,” the statement said, according to PTI.
Pakistan also urged the international community to take note of the matter, citing the “nuclearised environment”.