The Indian government has issued a statement blaming the accidental firing of a missile into Pakistan earlier this week on a “technical malfunction” that occurred “in the course of routine maintenance.”
“On 9 March 2022, in the course of routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile … 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,” the Indian Ministry of Defense said in a statement on Friday. The Indian government has “ordered a high-level court of enquiry” to investigate the incident.
Pakistan had accused India on Thursday of launching an unidentified high-altitude supersonic object into the country’s airspace. It eventually crashed in the eastern province of Mian Channu. After examining the object, Islamabad deduced that it was an Indian unarmed surface-to-surface supersonic missile.
The Pakistani government urged India to “be mindful of the unpleasant consequences of such negligence, and to take effective measures to avoid the recurrence of such violations in future.” It did not specify how it might respond if the incident were repeated, however. The Pakistani Foreign Office summoned India’s chargé d’affaires to demand he provide a full explanation.
India and Pakistan have been adversaries since 1947, when India secured its independence from Britain and was partitioned into separate states. The two sides have engaged in multiple military clashes since then, most recently in 2019.