PR No. 102
Indian Official Acceptance of Accidental Firing of Missile
Islamabad: March 12, 2022

We have taken note of the Press Statement by the Indian Press Information Bureau’s Defence Wing regretting the “accidental firing” of the Indian origin missile into Pakistani territory on 9 March 2022 due to “technical malfunction” and decision to hold an internal Court of Inquiry. The grave nature of the incident raises several fundamental questions regarding security protocols and technical safeguards against accidental or unauthorized launch of missiles in a nuclearized environment. Such a serious matter cannot be addressed with the simplistic explanation proffered by the Indian authorities. Some of the questions that need to be answered include: • India must explain the measures and procedures in place to prevent accidental missile launches and the particular circumstances of this incident. • India needs to clearly explain the type and specifications of the missile that fell in Pakistani territory. • India also needs to explain the flight path/ trajectory of the accidently launched missile and how it ultimately turned and entered into Pakistan? • Was the missile equipped with self-destruct mechanism? Why did it fail to actualize? • Are Indian missiles kept primed for launch even under routine maintenance? • Why did India fail to immediately inform Pakistan about accidental launch of the missile and waited to acknowledge till after Pakistan announced the incident and sought clarification? • Given the profound level of incompetence, India needs to explain if the missile was indeed handled by its armed forces or some rogue elements? The whole incident indicates many loopholes and technical lapses of serious nature in Indian handling of strategic weapons. Indian decision to hold an internal court of inquiry is not sufficient since the missile ended up in Pakistani territory. Pakistan demands a joint probe to accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident. Given the short distances and response times, any misinterpretation by the other side could lead to counter measures in self-defence with grave consequences. Pakistan, therefore, calls upon the international community to take serious notice of this incident of grave nature in a nuclearized environment and play its due role in promoting strategic stability in the region.