(Reuters) – India said on Friday that it had accidentally fired a missile at Pakistan this week due to a “technical glitch” during routine maintenance, after Pakistan summoned India’s representative to protest and gave a version of the events.
Military experts have warned in the past of the dangers of accidents or miscalculations by nuclear-armed neighbors who have been involved in three wars and several minor armed conflicts in the disputed Kashmir region in general.
Tensions have eased in recent months, and the incident, which could be the first of its kind, has raised immediate questions about security measures.
“During routine maintenance on March 9, 2022, the missile was accidentally fired due to a technical glitch,” the Indian Ministry of Defense said in a three-column statement.
“The missile is known to have landed in an area of Pakistan. Although this incident is deeply regrettable, it is a relief that no casualties were reported due to the accident.”
The ministry said the government had “taken a serious view and ordered a high court hearing”.
Pakistani officials said the missile was unarmed and crashed near the eastern city of Mian Sun, about 500 kilometers from the capital Islamabad.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry has summoned Indian officials in Islamabad to protest what it called an unprovoked intrusion into its airspace, saying the incident could endanger the lives of passenger planes and civilians.
Pakistan warned India that “effective measures must be taken to prevent recurrence of such violations in the future, bearing in mind the undesirable consequences of such negligence.”
Ayesha Siddiqui, an expert on military affairs and South Asian affairs, tweeted, “India-Pakistan should talk about risk reduction.”
“Both states have faith in nuclear weapons control, but what if those accidents happen again with more serious consequences?”
A senior Pakistani security official, unnamed, told Reuters the incident had raised a warning that it could escalate into a “critical adverse situation”.
“It makes no sense to admit that this is a missile,” he said. “What does this say about their defense mechanisms and the technical strength of the most dangerous weapons? The international community needs to look at this very carefully.”
The official said it could be a BrahMos missile capable of carrying and striking nuclear weapons developed jointly by Russia and India.
According to the US-based Arms Control Association, the missile has a range of 300 km to 500 km and is capable of reaching Islamabad from a launch site in northern India.
The Pakistani official was surprised that the incident meant that India was in a state of readiness to launch missiles and target Pakistan, with no command and control system security.
A Pakistani military spokesman told a news conference on Thursday that a “high-speed flying object” had crashed in eastern Pakistan from the northern Indian city of Sirsa.
“The material’s airspace has endangered many domestic and international passenger planes in Indian and Pakistani airspace, as well as human lives and property on the ground,” it said.
The object flew at 12,200 meters and three times the speed of sound and flew 124 kilometers in Pakistani airspace, a Pakistani Air Force official said.
According to Happyman Jacob, an international research professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, both sides have handled the situation well.
“It gives me great confidence that the two nuclear-armed countries have matured enough to deal with the missile incident,” he wrote on Twitter. Destroyed Bach. New Delhi has to come forward to provide compensation for the house.
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