Pakistan rejects Indian explanation on missile ‘misfire’

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday rejected India’s latest explanation on the firing of a missile into Pakistani territory and questioned Washington’s ambiguous stance on the issue, saying it was too serious a matter to be taken lightly, Dawn news reported

The corps commanders of the Pakistan Army also expressed concern over the incident and said it could have endangered “regional peace and stability”.

Speaking at a press conference at the Foreign Office, Mr Qureshi said Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement in the Lok Sabha was “insufficient” and “incomplete”.

“Pakistan cannot be satisfied with such inadequate explanations. I reject it and reiterate the call for a joint probe,” the foreign minister said.

A day after Pakistan had claimed that an Indian missile had struck its territory, India said that it was fired due to a technical malfunction during routine maintenance work.

Corps commanders say missile incident could have endangered regional peace

Mr Singh, the first Indian official to speak on the issue, told parliament on Tuesday that India accords “highest priority” to the safety and security of its weapon systems and that “a review of the standard operating procedures for operations, maintenance and inspections” was under way.

Delivering short statements in both houses of India’s parliament, Mr Singh said the safety procedures and protocols for the country’s missile systems were of the highest standard and reviewed periodically, Reuters reported.

“I can assure the House that the missile system is very reliable and safe,” he said, without saying which missile had been accidentally launched.

Mr Qureshi, however, described the incident as “highly irresponsible” and said India’s subsequent reaction was “equally irresponsible”.

Islamabad, he maintained, does not believe in the Indian version of events and wants a joint probe to dig out the real truth.

The Pakistani foreign minister, who had written letters to UN Secretary General António Guterres and Security Council President Lana Nusseibeh, and also spoken to UNSG over phone, said he was “shocked” and “surprised” that the world was not realising the gravity of the incident that could have triggered a war between two nuclear states.

Taking a swipe at the Biden administration, Mr Qureshi said the State Department did not take a clear position on the incident, despite knowing its seriousness.

“[An] unambiguous position needs to be taken,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, the corps commanders at their meeting warned of the consequences of such a happening and urged the relevant world bodies to take note of it.

“Such dangerous incidents can act as trigger and seriously endanger regional peace and strategic stability,” ISPR said in a statement after the meeting. (Dawn news)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.