New Delhi, Mar 15 (EFE).- India Tuesday said its missile system “is highly safe and reliable,” days after accidentally firing a projectile into Pakistan in an incident with potentially dangerous military consequences for the two nuclear powers.
Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh spoke about the incident in the parliament, saying the government had taken the incident “very seriously.”
“We give the top priority to safety and security of our weapons system. The government has ordered a high-level investigation into the incident,” Singh told the upper house of the parliament.
The minister said the cause that led to the incident would be determined after the probe is complete.
“If we find any lapses, we will rectify that quickly. Our missile system is highly safe and reliable. We take a timely review of our safety protocols.”
He said the Indian armed forces were well-trained and disciplined to maintain such a system.
The incident took place on Mar.9.
A day later, Pakistan announced that an unarmed “supersonic missile” from India entered its airspace and fell in the southern Punjab region, causing damage in the vicinity but without human casualties.
“From its initial course, the object suddenly maneuvered towards Pakistani territory and violated Pakistan’s airspace,” Pakistan military spokesperson Major General Babar Iftikhar said.
Pakistan Air Vice Marshal Tariq Zia said the projectile was a surface-to-surface missile that was picked up at an altitude of 40,000 feet (12,200 meters).
He said the missile traveled 124 km into Pakistan airspace and remained over Pakistan’s territory for three minutes and 24 seconds.
Islamabad summoned the Indian envoy to register a protest against the “unprovoked violation” of the airspace.
A Pakistan foreign office statement said it was an “irresponsible incident,” reflecting India’s “disregard for air safety and callousness towards regional peace and stability.”
An Indian defense ministry statement said a “technical malfunction” triggered the “accidental firing” of the missile during a routine maintenance activity.
“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 statement said.
Pakistan has urged India to share the outcome of the inquiry into the incident. EFE