Indian military accidentally fired a missile into Pakistan, admits Indian defence ministry

Indian military accidentally fired a missile into Pakistan, admits Indian defence ministry

NEW DELHI: India's military accidentally fired a missile into Pakistan, New Delhi's defence ministry said on Friday, calling it "deeply regrettable".

"In the course of a routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile" on Wednesday that landed in "an area of Pakistan", it said in a statement, adding that a high-level inquiry had been ordered.

The development comes a day after Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar revealed that an Indian projectile had entered the Pakistani airspace and fell near Mian Channu in Khanewal district, causing some damage to the surrounding areas.

In response, the Foreign Office said Friday morning Pakistan strongly condemned the unprovoked violation of its airspace by a "super-sonic flying object" of Indian origin. Pakistan asks India for explanation

Briefing journalists about the incident in Rawalpindi Thursday, the DG ISPR said: "At 6:43pm [on Wednesday], a high-speed flying object was picked up inside the Indian territory by the Air Defence Operation Centre of the Pakistan Airforce."

"From its initial course, the object suddenly manoeuvred towards the Pakistani territory and violated Pakistan's airspace [before] ultimately falling near Mian Channu at 6:50pm."

He said that when the projectile fell, it damaged some civilian property. "Thankfully, no loss or injury to human life was caused."

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) continuously monitored the complete flight path of the flying object from its point of origin near Sirsa in India till its point of impact near Mian Channu, the DG ISPR said.

Maj Gen Iftikhar said the PAF initiated requisite tactical actions in accordance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and that the flight path of the object endangered many international and domestic passenger flights both in Indian and Pakistani airspace.

"It [...] shows their (India's) disregard for aviation safety and reflects very poorly on their technological prowess and procedural efficiency."

Maj Gen Iftikhar said that the incident could have resulted in a major aviation disaster as well as civilian casualties on the ground.

"Pakistan strongly protests this flagrant violation and cautions against the recurrence of any such incident in the future," he asserted.

He said that an inquiry into the matter has been launched and forensics are being carried out but confirmed that the supersonic flying object was "most probably a missile," but it was "certainly unarmed."

"Whatever has caused this, we will wait for an explanation from the Indian side," he reiterated, adding that the Pakistani armed forces are fully prepared to deal with all such scenarios.