India blamed a “technical malfunction” during routine maintenance for the incident in which a missile was fired across the border into longtime foe Pakistan.
According to NBC News:
“On 9 March 2022, in the course of a routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile,” India’s defense ministry said in a statement. “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.”
Earlier on Friday Pakistan’s foreign office said it had summoned India’s charge d’affaires in Islamabad to lodge a protest over what it called an unprovoked violation of its airspace. Pakistan called for an investigation into the incident, which it said could have endangered passenger flights and civilian lives.
Pakistan warned India “to be mindful of the unpleasant consequences of such negligence and take effective measures to avoid the recurrence off such violations in future”.
Military experts have in the past warned of the risk of accidents or miscalculations by the neighbors, which have fought three wars and engaged in numerous military clashes, most recently in 2019 which saw the air forces of the two engage in combat. Both nations have nuclear weapons.
“The flight path of this object endangered many national and international passenger flights both in Indian and Pakistani airspace as well as human life and property of ground,” Pakistani military spokesman Major-General Babar Iftikhar said.
Air force officials in Pakistan said the missile flew at an altitude of 40,000, at Mac 3, and traveled 77 miles in Pakistan airspace before crashing.