Last week, an accidental missile fired by India prompted Pakistan to gear up for a retaliatory strike, sources familiar with the matter said. The incident signified how close the nuclear-armed neighbours could come to blows due to a potentially disastrous mistake.
Pakistan prepared to launch a missile to strike India. However, it held back after an initial assessment showed something was amiss. The Indian missile ended up causing some damage to the residential property. However, no casualties were reported.
The IAF fired the BrahMos cruise missile – medium-ranged – on March 9 from Ambala, about 200 kilometres north of the capital New Delhi. The mishap occurred due to technical and human errors during a usual exercise to check systems capable of offensive action in a war-like scenario.
Still, after the launch, Delhi didn’t use the direct hotline to inform Pakistan. Instead, Air Force officials rushed to shut down the missile systems to avoid further lapses.
Pakistan held an immediate briefing to publicize the incident after failing to adhere to the explanation from India. India offered a response following Islamabad’s protest over the launch.
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As per the DG ISPR, PAF Air Defence picked up a ‘flying object’ inside India on March 9 at 6:43 pm, which ‘suddenly manoeuvred towards Pakistani territory, crashing near Mian Channu, some 60 kilometres short of PAF Base Shorkot.
BrahMos NG is a versatile version of India’s cruise missile series, scheduled for trials this year. Delhi admitted the ‘accidental launch’ after 48 hours, ascribing it to ‘a technical malfunction’, that a court of inquiry would probe further.
International commentators were amazed to see Pakistan’s meek response, deeming it influenced ostensibly by the ‘aman ki asha’. The timing of this blatant violation is sinister, as the entire Pakistani leadership is caught with the stinking political drama.
As per the agreement between Pakistan and India, there is no early warning to the other side for a missile launch (BrahMos).