Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said the Indian armed forces are well trained, disciplined and experienced in dealing with such systems.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday rejected Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh’s response in parliament over the “accidental firing” of a missile and demanded another joint investigation into the incident.
At a press conference here, Qureshi spoke in detail about India’s accidental rocket launch on March 9 and the 48th Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), being hosted by Pakistan on March 22-23.
“What the Indian Defense Minister had said in the Lok Sabha is incomplete and insufficient. It is not enough to satisfy Pakistan. I reject that and demand a joint investigation,” he said, echoing Islamabad’s repeated demand last week.
“This was a highly irresponsible act and the response given is equally irresponsible,” Qureshi said in Pakistan’s first response to Singh’s detailed statement in parliament.
Defense Secretary Singh on Tuesday described the recent accidental missile launch as “deplorable”, claiming India’s missile system is highly reliable and security procedures are of the highest order. He said an evaluation of standard operations and maintenance was being carried out and any deficiencies, if found, would be rectified immediately.
Making a statement in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha over the accidental firing of a missile during an inspection on March 9, Singh said the government has taken serious note of the incident and has ordered a formal high-level investigation to determine the exact cause. of the incident.
“During routine maintenance and inspection, a missile was accidentally released around 7 p.m. It was later learned that the missile had landed on Pakistani territory. While this incident is regretted, we are relieved that no one was injured in the accident,” the minister said.
The minister also said that the Indian armed forces are well trained, disciplined and experienced in dealing with such systems.
In his remarks, Qureshi complained that the international community had not realized the seriousness of the Indian missile launch, as it was capable of carrying the warhead and could have sparked a nuclear conflagration.
“One-sided research is not enough; the impact could be far beyond the region, as the missile was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. It had this potential (to carry a warhead) and to say it was an accident is not enough,” he said.
He warned that the missile could have sparked a reaction.
“There could have been an accidental reaction to that accidental launch if our Air Force hadn’t picked it up well in India. Do people realize the implication and consequences of that? That’s very serious,” he said.
He said the US State Department spokesman at a press conference, while realizing the importance of the issue, sidestepped the question when asked and did not take a clear stance.
“Do they realize who I am addressing (USA and the rest of the world) that this missile could lead to a war between two nuclear states? I’m not trying to be dramatic about it, but it’s a realistic estimate,” he said.
Asked if Pakistan would also respond with a “casual launch” against India, he said: “We are responsible people and expect India to be responsible.” Qureshi said that in order to raise awareness among the international community, he spoke to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres about the missile issue.
“I am shocked that the media and the world did not feel this quake,” he said.
The foreign minister also said he had addressed a letter to the UN Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council, trying to make them aware of their responsibility that this incident happened and that the world was quiet.
Qureshi also reiterated the same questions from the Pakistani Foreign Ministry regarding the Indian missile launch and asked New Delhi to respond.
“These are very relevant questions. I expect the UN SC and the UN Forum to inform us and guide us in this matter,” he said.
Talking about the upcoming OIC meeting, he said the Kashmir contact group would meet on the sidelines to discuss the existing situation in Kashmir.
India has previously rejected the OIC’s locus standi, saying the organization continues to be hijacked by vested interests to further their nefarious propaganda against India.
Qureshi said the OIC also wants to take a common position on Islamophobia and the issue of the veil worn by Muslim women.
He said the 48th meeting of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers coincides with the country’s 75th independence celebration and that the participation of 48 ministers has been confirmed so far.
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