India rejects Pak’s insinuations, says Indian missile system very reliable & safe

at 7:27 pm

New Delhi: Rejecting Pakistan’s insinuations over the “accidental” firing of a missile on March 9, India asserted today that its missile system is very reliable and safe and that the safety procedures and protocols are of the highest order.

On March 9, an Indian missile flew into Pakistan and landed in its eastern city of Mian Channu, around 125 kms from the border, but did not cause any damage.
Indian Defence Ministry, while expressing regrets, later clarified that it was a case of “accidental firing” of a missile which was a result of a “technical malfunction” during “routine maintenance”.
However, Pakistan was not satisfied and wanted a joint probe, which has not been accepted by India.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today made a statement in Parliament, maintaining that it was an “inadvertent release of a missile during inspection” and the government had taken serious note of the incident.
“During routine maintenance and inspection, a missile was accidentally released at around 7 p.m. It was later learnt that the missile had landed inside the territory of Pakistan.
“While this incident is regretted, we are relieved that nobody was hurt due to the accident,” he said.
The Defence Minister said a formal high level inquiry has been ordered to determine the exact cause of the said accident.
“I would also like to state that a review of the Standard Operating Procedures for operations, maintenance and inspections is being conducted in the wake of this incident,” Singh said.
“We attach highest priority to safety and security of our weapon systems.  If any shortcoming is found, the same would be immediately rectified,” he emphasised.
 Assuring that the missile system is very reliable and safe, the Defence Minister said, “Moreover, our safety procedures and protocols are of the highest order and are reviewed from time to time.”
He added that the Indian Armed Forces are well-trained and disciplined & are well experienced in handling such systems.

Earlier, Pakistan had raised a number of questions and apprehensions with regard to India’s missile management and demanded a joint probe to “accurately establish the facts” surrounding the incident.

“Indian decision to hold an internal Court of Inquiry is not sufficient since the missile ended up in Pakistani territory,” Pakistan Foreign Ministry said earlier this week.

“Such a serious matter cannot be addressed with the simplistic explanation proffered by the Indian authorities,” it had said in a statement.

“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,” the Pakistan Foreign Ministry had said.

“The whole incident indicates many loopholes and technical lapses of serious nature in India’s handling of strategic weapons,” the Pakistan Foreign Ministry had said.