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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to make statement in Lok Sabha over ‘inadvertent’ missile firing

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will make a statement in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, March 15, over the “inadvertent” firing of a that landed in Pakistan last week. India on Friday had said that a missile was ‘accidentally’ fired from a military base and had expressed regret that it landed in Pakistan on March 9.

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Pakistan Army had said that an Indian projectile had entered the Pakistani airspace and caused some damage to surrounding areas after it fell near a place called Mian Channu in their territory.

The Indian Defence Ministry said that it has ordered a court of enquiry into the incident adding that it was a matter of relief that there was no loss of life due to the accidental firing.

“On 9 March 2022, in the course of routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile. The Government of India has taken a serious view and ordered a high-level Court of Enquiry,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

“It is learnt that the missile landed in an area of Pakistan. While the incident is deeply regrettable, it is also a matter of relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident,” it said.

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Meanwhile, China has said that India and Pakistan should hold dialogue as soon as possible and launch a “thorough” investigation into the recent ‘accidental firing’ of a missile incident. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, during a media briefing, said both Pakistan and India are important countries in South Asia and they share the responsibility to uphold regional security and stability.

“China calls on the countries to hold dialogue and communication as soon as possible, and look thoroughly into the incident, step up information sharing, and promptly establish a reporting mechanism so that such incidents will not happen again, and misunderstanding and misjudgement can be avoided,” he said.

On Saturday, Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) said it was not satisfied with India’s “simplistic explanation” on the “accidental firing” of the missile and demanded a joint probe to accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident.

The FO summoned the Indian Charge d’Affaires and registered its protest over the “unprovoked” violation of its airspace and said that such “irresponsible incidents” reflected India’s “disregard” for air safety.

Pakistan also called upon the international community to take serious notice of this incident of grave nature in a nuclearised environment and play its due role in promoting strategic stability in the region, the FO said.

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Though the statement by India’s defence ministry did not specify the name of the missile, the description given by the Pakistan military indicated that it could be a Brahmos missile.

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