Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said that a high-level probe has been ordered into the inadvertent firing of a missile that landed in Pakistan on 9 March saying that “if any lapses are found, action will be taken accordingly”. Addressing the Rajya Sabha, the minister informed that standard operating procedures (SOPs) for “operations, maintenance, and inspection” of such systems were being reviewed in the wake of the incident. “I’d like to tell this House about an incident that occurred on 9th March 2022. It’s related to an accidental missile release during the inspection. During routine maintenance and inspection of the missile unit,
around 7 pm, one missile got accidentally released. While this incident is regretted, we are relieved that nobody was hurt due to the accident,” the Defence Minister told Rajya Sabha. Singh sought to assure Parliament that the “Indian missile system is very reliable and safe” and that the “safety procedures and protocols are of the highest order”. “I can assure the House that the missile system is very reliable and safe. Moreover, our safety procedures and protocols are of the highest order and are reviewed from time to time. Our Armed Forces are well-trained and disciplined and are well experienced in handling such systems,” Singh said in the Upper House of Parliament.
Pakistan on Tuesday reiterated its demand for a joint probe with India over the recent incident of “inadvertent” missile launch into its territory, with Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the Pakistan foreign minister, describing as “incomplete and insufficient”, Defence minister Rajnath Singh’s statement in Parliament on the issue.
Meanwhile, the United States has said that there is no indication that the recent firing of a missile from India which landed in Pakistan was “anything other than accidental.” “We have no indication as you also heard from our Indian partners that this incident was anything other than an accident,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters in response to a question at his daily news conference on Monday.
“We refer you of course to the Indian Ministry of Defence for any follow up. They issued a statement on March 9th to explain precisely what had happened. We don’t have a comment beyond that,” Price added.
On Thursday night, Pakistan summoned India’s Charge d’Affaires at in Islamabad and conveyed its strong protest over the “unprovoked” violation of its airspace by the supersonic “projectile” of Indian origin. The Pakistan foreign office has also called for a thorough joint investigation into the incident.
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