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Pakistan urges UNSC to push India to hold joint probe into last week’s missile incident

UNITED NATIONS, Mar 15 (APP):Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has called on the United Nations to demand from India to hold a joint investigation into a missile New Delhi said it “accidentally” fired into its territory, rejecting the Indian move to hold an internal inquiry into the March 9 incident.

“Such a serious matter cannot be addressed with the simplistic explanation proffered by the Indian authorities,” the foreign minister said in a letter addressed to UN Security Council President for March, Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh (UAE), and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in which he shared Pakistan’s concerns and demands about the violation of Pakistani airspace by India’s “super-sonic missile”.

Pakistan, he said, strongly condemns this “blatant violation” of its airspace in contravention of international aviation safety protocols. “Such irresponsible incidents are also reflective of India’s disregard for air safety and callous approach towards regional peace and stability.”

India accidental missile fire into Pakistan raises questions, concerns: Global Times

“This missile incident is consistent with India’s irresponsible conduct and deserves to be addressed by the international community and especially the Security Council, with the sense of alarm and urgency which it deserves,” FM Qureshi wrote.

The Foreign Minister’s letter is being circulated as an official document of the 15-member Council under two agenda items, “The responsibility of the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security” and “The India-Pakistan Question.”

The missile, he said, not only caused damage to civilian property but also put at risk human lives on the ground in Pakistan, adding that it could have resulted in a massive accident causing civilian casualties.

“Given the short distances and response times in the Pakistan-India theatre, any misinterpretation by either side of each other’s military actions could lead to responses with grave consequences for the region and indeed for the whole world, especially in a nuclearized environment,” the foreign minister said.

In the letter, FM Qureshi also drew the world’s attention to India’s “persistent aggressive and irresponsible” actions, its massive arms build-up as well as its offensive military doctrines and force postures which pose an ever-present threat to peace, security and stability in South Asia.

Noting the press statement issued by the Indian Press Information Bureau’s Defence Wing regretting the “accidental firing” of the missile into Pakistani territory due to “technical malfunction” and the decision to hold an internal Court of Inquiry, the foreign minister has called on India to explain the measures and procedures in place to prevent accidental missile launches and the particular circumstances of this incident; the type and specifications of the missile that fell in Pakistani territory, and the flight path/trajectory of the accidentally launched missile and how it ultimately turned and entered into Pakistan.

He also asked whether the missile was equipped with self-destruct mechanism, and why did it fail to actualize, as also whether Indian missiles are kept primed for launch even under routine maintenance.

In addition, the foreign minister pointedly asked, “Why did India fail to inform Pakistan immediately about accidental launch of the missile and waited to acknowledge until 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 Foreign Minister’s letter also reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire for peaceful relations with all its neighbours, including India. Pakistan’s desire for peace, he aid, is accompanied by a strong resolve and capability for self-defence, which will be exercised in accordance with the rights under the UN Charter, he said.


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