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Friday, July 19, 2024  
12 Muharram 1446  

Airspace violation: China calls on Pakistan-India to hold dialogue at earliest

'We have no indication, as you also heard from our Indian partners, that this incident was anything other than an accident,' says the US State Dept spox
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian (L) and US State Department spokesperson Ned Price (R) in collage photo. Chinese foreign ministry Twitter/Reuters
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian (L) and US State Department spokesperson Ned Price (R) in collage photo. Chinese foreign ministry Twitter/Reuters

In the wake of the Indian violation of Pakistan’s airspace, China has called on both the neighbouring countries to hold dialogue “at the earliest” to avoid such incidents in the future.

However, the United States does not have anything to comment on except quoting the Indian defence ministry’s statement in regard to the ‘accident’.

Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar in a media briefing on March 10 said that a high-speed flying object was picked up inside the Indian territory by the Air Defence Operations Centre of the Pakistan Air Force on March 9. “The projectile that entered the Pakistani airspace was a supersonic missile that originated from India and fell near Mian Channu, causing some damage to the surrounding areas,” he had said.

Pakistan strongly condemns Indian violation of airspace: DG ISPR

Pakistan has already called for a joint probe of the incident after India regretted the March 9 incident in which a missile was “accidentally” launched from the country and entered Pakistani territory, crashing in the Mian Channu area of Khanwal district in Punjab. In a statement, the Indian government took a “serious view” of the situation and ordered a “high-level” court of enquiry.

Moreover, the Foreign Office has sought answers to seven questions from the neighbouring country – including one over its delayed response – in a detailed statement.

Responding to a query on Monday’s press briefing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China has noted relevant information, adding that Pakistan and India are both “important countries” in South Asia, bearing responsibilities for maintaining regional security and stability.

FO summons Indian envoy, protests unprovoked airspace violation

“China calls on the countries to hold dialogue and communication as soon as possible, and look thoroughly into the incident, step up information sharing, and promptly establish a reporting mechanism so that such incidents will not happen again, and misunderstanding and misjudgment can be avoided,” he added.

A similar question was asked to US State Department spokesperson Ned Price during the press briefing on Monday. The question also included Pakistan’s warning about unpleasant consequences.

“Well, we have no indication, as you also heard from our Indian partners, that this incident was anything other than an accident,” he said and referred to the Indian defence ministry for any follow-up.

They (Indian defence ministry) issued a statement on March 9 to explain “precisely” what had happened, he said, adding: “We don’t have a comment beyond that,” he said in response to the question.

To another question on the uranium theft in India a few months ago, the State Department spokesperson said he was not familiar with such a particular incident.

“What I would say is that nuclear safety around the world, especially in countries – nuclear-armed countries, it is always a conversation that is ongoing,” Price said.

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ISPR

Babar Iftikhar

Zhao Lijian

Ned Price

USA