WASHINGTON: The United States and China on Monday called on India and Pakistan to hold direct talks to reduce tensions between the two nuclear-armed nations.
“We continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on issues of concern,” a State Department official said when asked if the United States would encourage India and Pakistan to hold direct talks on the latest issue. missile incident and other issues. Earlier Monday, a spokesman for Chinese Foreign Minister Pakistan called for a joint inquiry into the incident and stressed the need for direct talks between the two neighbors on all issues.
“We called on relevant countries to have dialogue and communication as soon as possible and to launch a thorough investigation into this incident,” spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters in Beijing.
He also called on India and Pakistan to “strengthen information sharing and establish a notification mechanism in time to avoid recurrence of such incidents and to prevent miscalculations”.
US and Chinese officials are talking about the recent intrusion of Indian missiles into Pakistani airspace
The Chinese official said Pakistan and India were “both key countries in South Asia, bearing responsibility for maintaining regional security and stability”. India acknowledged earlier this week that March 9, 2022, “brought a technical error into the unintentional firing of a missile” into Pakistani territory. Pakistan, however, said they were not happy with New Delhi’s “simplistic explanation” and called for a joint inquiry to establish the facts surrounding the incident.
An Indian media report said an unarmed, trained version of BrahMo’s supersonic missile was accidentally fired into Pakistan during an inspection at a secret Indian Air Force satellite base.
Referring to sources in the Indian Ministry of Defense, the report claimed that the missile followed the trajectory it would have in case of a conflict, but “certain factors” played a role in ensuring that any pre-fed target was out of danger.
The report said that since it was “an exercise missile”, it had no warheads. The report also claimed that India informed Pakistan about this “random firing” shortly after it happened. Pakistan says, however, that India immediately failed to inform Islamabad of the unintended launch and waited until after Inter-Services Public Relations announced the incident and sought clarification from New Delhi.
Published in Dawn, March 15, 2022