Pakistan Planned Retaliatory Strike After India “Accidentally” Fired Missile In Its Territory: Report

According to a Bloomberg report, Pakistan nearly launched a retaliatory strike after an accidental missile fired by India last week landed in its territory. The report suggests that the mishap could have brought the nuclear-armed neighbors to blows. 

People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Pakistan had prepared to launch a similar missile to strike India but held back because an initial assessment indicated something was amiss. The missile fired by Indian side reportedly destroyed a residential property, but did not result in any casualty. 

Citing people familiar with the matter in India, the Bloomberg report states that the Indian Air Force fired the BrahMos medium-range cruise missile on March 9 from the garrison town of Ambala, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of the capital New Delhi. The people said that the mishap occurred due to human and technical errors during a routine exercise to check systems capable of taking offensive action in war. 

However, India didn’t use the direct hotline between the top army commanders on both sides to inform Pakistan about the mishap, and instead moved to shut down the missile systems to avoid any further launches, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg, asking not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the information.

As per the report, Pakistan held a briefing to publicize the incident a day later after failing to hear an explanation from India, following which India finally offered a response on Friday. 

The Indian Defense Ministry, in its clarification, said: “On 9 March 2022, in the course of routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile. The Government of India has taken a serious view and ordered a high-level Court of Enquiry.”

“It is learnt that the missile landed in an area of Pakistan. While the incident is deeply regrettable, it is also a matter of relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident,” the ministry further added.

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