By Syed Raza Hassan
KARACHI, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistan rejected India’s closure of the incident of the firing of a supersonic missile into Pakistani territory on March 9, and reiterated demand for joint probe, said a statement by Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued Wednesday night.
The Indian Air Force on Tuesday said at the end of its inquiry that the government had sacked three officers for accidentally firing a missile into Pakistan in March, an incident that the two nuclear-armed rivals handled calmly as there were no casualties.
The BrahMos missile – a nuclear-capable, land-attack cruise missile jointly developed by Russia and India – was fired on March 9, prompting Pakistan to seek answers from New Delhi on the safety mechanisms in place to prevent accidental launches.
“Pakistan categorically rejects India’s purported closure of the highly irresponsible incident and reiterates its demand for a joint probe,” a foreign office statement said.
The measures taken by India in the aftermath of the incident and the subsequent findings and punishments handed by the so-called internal court of inquiry are totally unsatisfactory, deficient and inadequate, it added.
The Indian Air Force said in a statement on Tuesday: “A Court of Inquiry, set up to establish the facts of the case, including fixing responsibility for the incident, found that deviation from the Standard Operating Procedures by three officers led to the accidental firing of the missile.”
It added the government had dismissed the three officers with immediate effect on Tuesday.
“India has not only failed to respond to Pakistan’s demand for a joint inquiry but has also evaded the questions raised by Pakistan regarding the command-and-control system in place in India, the safety and security protocols and the reason for India’s delayed admission of the Missile launch,” statement went on to add.
If indeed India has nothing to hide then it must accept Pakistan’s demand for a joint probe in the spirit of transparency, the handout added.
(Reporting by Syed Raza Hassan; Editing by Sandra Maler)