THE Foreign Office on Wednesday said the firing of BrahMos nuclear-capable missile into Pakistan’s territory on March 9 had raised several questions about India’s conduct as a nuclear state including whether it was actually an accident.
On Monday, some sections of Indian media quoted international nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as saying that it did not see the incident as any cause of “specific concern”.
Reacting to the report, Foreign Office spokesperson said it is a disingenuous attempt by the Indian state-sponsored media to absolve India of its irresponsible nuclear behaviour by directing this question at the Director General IAEA.
The very fact that India is trying to take refuge behind lame excuses points to its guilt on the issue which is also highlighted by India’s inability to answer some of the legitimate questions raised not just by Pakistan but also saner members of the international community.
Firing a super-sonic missile into Pakistani territory and, above all, its landing close to a nuclear facility was an unforgivable crime but Pakistan, as per its well thought-out policy, went for a cool-minded approach as it always tried to de-escalate tension between the two countries.
However, it did not mean that the issue should be brushed aside without addressing concerns of Pakistan as the incident had the potential to cause catastrophic consequences.
Mere suspension of officials is not enough and India must satisfy Pakistan on points of concern like the underlying intentions, technical features and reliability of the missile system, safety, security and nuclear command and control protocols and the presence of rogue elements in the Indian military.
Apart from a joint investigation as demanded by Pakistan, India should also come out with firm guarantees against non-repetition of such blunders in future.