LEAVING aside whether it was deliberate or inadvertent, the firing of a supersonic missile deep into Pakistani territory has once again highlighted the security threats to the country and the need for extra-vigilance and readiness to respond in kind.
Addressing an emergency news conference on Thursday, Director-General, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar said an Indian “high speed flying object” fell in Mian Channu, Khanewal district on Wednesday night and PAF representative said it seemed to be a supersonic missile.
Luckily, there was no loss of life but the civilian property was damaged in the highly unfortunate incident.
One must appreciate that those responsible to monitor such things and take appropriate actions were not oblivious of the movement of the flying object and picked it up right at the time of its launch from a point near Sirsa in India.
The Air Defence Operations Centre of the Pakistan Air Force continuously monitored the flying path of the object and initiated requisite tactical actions.
There can be two explanations for this mishap – either it was a deliberate attempt on the part of India to test Pakistan’s vigilance and the capability to intercept missiles or its control system malfunctioned as is a routine with ‘made-in India’ military hardware.
In any case, it was a serious development as the flight path of this object endangered many international and domestic passenger flights both in Indian and Pakistani airspace as well as human life and property on the ground.
There were also nuclear installations on both sides of the border and one could imagine the level of catastrophe had it fell on any of them.
The prompt response, once again, shows the defence of the motherland was in vigilant and strong hands and a clear-cut message has gone to the other side that any provocation or violation will have serious consequences.
No doubt, Pakistan has behaved in a responsible manner and did not draw conclusions in advance as has been the case with India but this issue of violation of Pakistan air-space must not be taken lightly only because there was no worthwhile damage on the ground.
Based on this incident, necessary steps should be taken by the Government to upgrade combat readiness of PAF as well as that of Pakistan Navy (PN).