India has claimed that it accidentally fired a missile into Pakistan on Wednesday, blaming it on the technical malfunction during routine maintenance giving its version of events after Pakistan summoned India’s envoy to protest.
Recently, TV anchors and social media users have been slamming India over the incident. One of the TV anchors at Britain’s GB News said, “This is not the case of a football going over a fence. Who works there, Homer Simpson?”
Another anchor said it seems like an Indian Homer Simpson rested his coffee on the wrong button, or could be a cleaning person who had a terrible click. The guest also said Pakistan has been very “shady,” warning India to be mindful, considering India created yoga. She called on India to practice what it preaches. Adding that it’s a highly militarized area like North Korea, they told China is trying to calm the storm.
On Friday, Pakistan’s military said a “high-speed flying object” had crashed near the eastern city of Mian Channu, which endangered passenger flights. The object had been launched from Sirsa in Haryana state.
Read more: Analyzing India’s failed nuclear security
Delhi termed the mishap as “deeply regrettable.” In a statement, India’s defence ministry said the Government of India has taken a serious view and ordered a high-level Court of Enquiry.
Dissatisfied by New Delhi’s explanation, Islamabad has demanded a joint investigation to “accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident.”
India’s nuclear security comes under question
In a statement on Saturday, the foreign ministry said that the incident’s grave nature raises several fundamental questions regarding security protocols and technical safeguards against the accidental or unauthorised launch of missiles in a nuclearised environment.
Questioning India’s failure to inform Pakistan about the accidental launch of the missile immediately, Islamabad asked why Delhi waited to acknowledge it till after Pakistan announced the incident and sought clarification.
Islamabad also asked New Delhi “to explain if the missile was indeed handled by its armed forces or some rogue elements.” On Friday, Pakistan’s foreign office summoned India’s charge d’affaires in Islamabad to protest its airspace’s “unprovoked violation”.
Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf said on Twitter that it was “highly irresponsible” of New Delhi not to inform Islamabad immediately of the inadvertent launch of a missile. Yusuf said it must be ascertained if this was an accidental launch or something more intentional.
It is hard to believe anything this Indian government says. Therefore, the real circumstances surrounding this incident must also be investigated to ascertain if this was an inadvertent launch or something more intentional.
— Moeed W. Yusuf (@YusufMoeed) March 11, 2022
Military experts have in the past warned of the risk of accidents or miscalculations by the nuclear-armed neighbours, which have fought three wars and engaged in numerous smaller armed clashes, usually over the disputed territory of Kashmir. They have also raised serious concerns over India’s nuclear security and safety.
India has been in the news for repeated illicit uranium possession and sales incidents in the past. Islamabad called for a thorough investigation into such incidents and measures to strengthen nuclear materials’ security to prevent diversion.
Dawn quoted a nuclear expert saying that India’s nuclear safety and security record was not impressive. As shown by the latest seizure of uranium, loose state control underscores the fact that India still has to go a long way in becoming a responsible nuclear power and be made a member of the Nuclear Supplier Group.