An Indian projectile entered the Pakistani airspace on Wednesday (March 9) and fell near Mian Channu in Khanewal district, causing damage to the surrounding areas.
Addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi, Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar said that Pakistan strongly condemned the incident and asked India for an explanation.
“At 6:43pm, a high-speed flying object was picked up inside the Indian territory by the Air Defence Operation Centre of the Pakistan Airforce,” he 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 said that when the projectile fell, it damaged some civilian property.
“Thankfully, no loss or injury to human life was caused,” he 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 said that the incident could have resulted in a major aviation disaster as well as civilian casualties on the ground.
“Pakistan strongly protests this flagrant violation and cautions against the recurrence of any such incident in the future,” he asserted.
He 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.”
“Whatever has caused this, we will wait for an explanation from the Indian side,” he reiterated, adding that the Pakistani armed forces are fully prepared to deal with all such scenarios.
Regarding the current political scenario in the country, he referenced his last press conference and reiterated that the army has “nothing to do with politics.”
“I would again request [the press] not to necessarily speculate or discuss [the army’s role in politics].”
About an uptick of terrorism incidents in the country, especially the Sibi blast a day ago in which seven security officials embraced martyrdom, the DG ISPR said that the country’s armed forces are taking “prompt actions” to thwart the nefarious designs of the enemy.
“So far, we have killed 80 terrorists during the past few weeks,” he said, adding that since the United States has withdrawn its forces from Afghanistan, there are certain terrorist organisations there and “it will require some time to control them.”
“Very soon, the uptick in the terrorism cases will be settled down,” he said.