ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Office has strongly condemned the “unprovoked” violation of its airspace by a “super-sonic flying object of Indian origin”.
“The Government of India is cautioned to be mindful of the unpleasant consequences of such negligence and take effective measures to avoid the recurrence of such violations in future,” a statement by the FO stated.
An Indian projectile had entered the Pakistani airspace on March 9, which fell near Mian Channu in Khanewal district within a few minutes, causing some damage to the surrounding areas, Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar had said Thursday.
To convey the protest the of “blatant” transgression of airspace, Pakistan summoned the Indian Charge d’Afaires (Cd’A) to the Foreign Office.
“[…] Indian origin super-sonic flying object which entered Pakistani airspace from Surathgarh, India, at 6:43pm (Pakistan Standard Time) on March, 9, 2022, fell on the ground near Mian Channu, in Pakistan, at around 6:50pm on the same day, causing damage to the [Pakistani] civilian property,” the FO said, sharing details of the trajectory of the projectile.
It was communicated to the Indian diplomat that the imprudent launch of the projectile not only caused damage to civilian property but also put at risk human lives on the ground and endangered several domestic and international flights operating within the Pakistani airspace, which could have resulted in a serious aviation accident or civilian casualties.
“The Indian Cd’A was told to convey to the Government of India, Pakistan’s strong condemnation of this blatant violation of Pakistani airspace in contravention of the established international norms and Aviation safety protocols. Such irresponsible incidents were also reflective of India’s disregard for Air safety and callousness towards regional peace and stability,” the statement read.
Moreover, it said that Pakistan has called for a thorough and transparent investigation of the incident, the outcome of which must be shared with Pakistan.
Addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi, DP ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar had said that Pakistan strongly condemned the incident and asked India for an explanation.
“At 6:43pm [on Thursday], a high-speed flying object was picked up inside the Indian territory by the Air Defence Operation Centre of the Pakistan Airforce,” he had said.
“From its initial course, the object suddenly manoeuvred towards the Pakistani territory and violated Pakistan’s airspace [before] ultimately falling near Mian Channu at 6:50pm.”
He had said that when the projectile fell, it damaged some civilian property.
“Thankfully, no loss or injury to human life was caused,” he had said, adding that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) continuously monitored the complete flight path of the flying object from its point of origin near Sirsa in India till its point of impact near Mian Channu.
He went on to say that the PAF initiated requisite tactical actions in accordance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and that the flight path of the object endangered many international and domestic passenger flights both in Indian and Pakistani airspace as well as human life and property on the ground.
“What caused this incident to happen is for the Indians to explain,” he said. “It nevertheless shows their disregard for aviation safety and reflects very poorly on their technological prowess and procedural efficiency.”
Maj Gen Iftikhar had said that the incident could have resulted in a major aviation disaster as well as civilian casualties on the ground.
He had said that an inquiry into the matter has been launched and forensics are being carried out but confirmed that the supersonic flying object was “most probably a missile,” but it was “certainly unarmed.”