Pakistan raises accidental missile issue at UN; China, US support direct talks

Despite India’s clarification, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi chose to complain to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on what he said was the “blatant violation of Pakistans airspace by the ‘accidental’ firing of a missile by India on March 9”, reports said.

India’s Defence Ministry had given clarification that in the course of routine maintenance on March 9, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile that landed inside the territory of Pakistan.

However, Pakistan said “multiple shortcomings and technical lapses of a serious nature in India’s management of strategic weapons” was “irresponsible conduct” and needed to be addressed by the international community, including the UN Security Council. Islamabad also insisted on a joint probe of the incident.

Meanwhile, the US and China have urged India and Pakistan to hold direct talks for reducing tensions as both are nuclear-armed nations. “We continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on issues of concern,” a US State Department official said on Monday, though Washington said it sees no wrong intention behind the mishap.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry said, “We called on relevant countries to have dialogue and communication as soon as possible and launch a thorough investigation into this incident,” spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters in Beijing.


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