Pakistan rejects Rajnath Singh's statement on missile incident, reiterates demand for joint probe
Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan's foreign minister, said that Singh's comment was as ‘irresponsible’ as the March 9 incident itself.
Pakistan on Tuesday reiterated its demand for a joint probe with India over the recent incident of ‘inadvertent' missile launch into its territory, with Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the Pakistan foreign minister, describing as ‘incomplete and insufficient,’ defence minister Rajnath Singh's statement in Parliament on the issue.
“What the Indian defence minister said in the Lok Sabha is insufficient and incomplete. It is not enough to satisfy Pakistan. I reject that and demand a joint probe,” Qureshi said in a press conference in Islamabad.
The politician, who is from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), further described Singh's statement as ‘irresponsible’ as the March 9 incident itself, which, he said, was a ‘highly irresponsible act.’
Describing the probe as ‘one-sided,’ Qureshi remarked that such an investigation won't be enough. “The impact of this incident could be far beyond the region as the weapon was capable of carrying a warhead. To say that it was just an accident will not be enough,” he said.
Qureshi also expressed his shock at what he said was the media and the world's failure to ‘feel this tremor.’
Meanwhile, in his address to Parliament earlier today, Singh reiterated the defence ministry's earlier statement that the missile ending up on the Pakistani territory was accidental. “During routine maintenance and inspection of the missile unit, around 7pm on March 9, one missile was accidentally released,” the defence minister said.
He added that the Centre has taken the incident ‘very seriously,’ adding that if lapses were to be found, then action would be taken. “Our missile system is safe and reliable. We take a timely review. Our armed forces are well-trained, and disciplined, and hold the experience of maintaining such a system,” said Singh.
India acknowledged the incident and ordered a high-level probe into it on March 11, a day after Pakistan's DG-ISPR held a press conference in this regard.
(With agency inputs)
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