Pakistan’s justified concerns

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PAKISTAN on Wednesday rejected India’s “purported closure” of the inquiry into accidental firing of a supersonic missile into the country on March 9, 2022, reiterating the demand for a joint probe into the incident.

In a statement, Foreign Office spokesman said the measures taken by India in the aftermath of the incident and the subsequent findings and punishments handed by the so-called Internal Court of Inquiry are totally unsatisfactory, deficient and inadequate.

The BrahMos missile — a nuclear-capable, land-attack cruise missile jointly developed by Russia and India — was fired earlier this year, prompting Pakistan to seek answers from New Delhi on the safety mechanism in place to prevent accidental launches.

India formally concluded the inquiry into the “accidental firing” of the BrahMos missile announcing the investigations found three officials guilty of not following the laid down SoPs, who have been sacked.

However, Pakistan has rightly pointed out that systemic loopholes and technical lapses of serious nature in the handling of strategic weapons cannot be covered up beneath the veneer of individual human error.

The firing of a supersonic missile in a region close to sensitive nuclear installations was a serious development as this could have led to catastrophic consequences.

The incident could have triggered live hostilities between the two countries but credit goes to Pakistan for reacting responsibly and coolly.

Instead of knee-jerk reaction, repeatedly shown by the Indian side on different occasions, Pakistan lodged a protest and justifiably demanded a joint probe for the sake of transparency.

The incident also raised serious questions about the command and control system as well as security protocol adopted by India to handle weapons of mass destruction and, therefore, the unilateral inquiry and reported sacking of three IAF personnel seem to be mere eye-wash to hoodwink the international public opinion.

Pakistan has a valid point in asking India to immediately provide specific response to the queries raised after the incident and accede to its call for a joint probe.

 

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