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India ‘deeply regrets’ accidental firing of missile inside Pakistan

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The Indian defence ministry regretted on Friday that a missile “accidentally” entered Pakistan and fell in Khanewal district’s Mian Channu area on Wednesday, attributing the incident to a “technical malfunction”.

“On March 9, 2022, in the course of routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile,” the ministry said in a statement. “It is learnt that the missile landed in an area of Pakistan.”

“The government has taken serious view and ordered a high-level court of enquiry,” the statement added.

The ministry said while the incident was “deeply regrettable, it is also a matter of relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident”.

The Indian defence ministry’s statement comes a day after Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar briefed the media about the incident, calling for an explanation from Delhi.

“On March 9, at 6:43pm, a high-speed flying object was picked up inside the Indian territory by Air Defence Operations Centre of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF),” he told media persons in Islamabad, adding the object suddenly manoeuvred towards Pakistani territory from its initial course and violated Pakistan’s air space, ultimately falling near Mian Channu at 6:50pm.

“It was a supersonic flying object, most probably a missile, but it was certainly unarmed,” he said at the time.

“It is important to highlight that the flight path of this object endangered many international and domestic passenger flights — both in Indian and Pakistani air space — as well as human life and property on ground,” he added.

“Whatever caused this incident to happen, it is for the Indians to explain. It, nevertheless, shows their disregard for aviation safety and reflects very poorly on their technological prowess and procedural efficiency,” he further stated.

He said Pakistan “strongly protests this flagrant violation and cautions against recurrence of any such incident in the future”.

Earlier today, the Foreign Office (FO) summoned the Indian envoy to register Pakistan’s protest over the unprovoked violation of its airspace, saying such “irresponsible incidents” reflected the neighbouring country’s “disregard for air safety and callousness towards regional peace and stability”.

It also called for a thorough and transparent investigation of the incident, the results of which should be shared with Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed concern over the incident, saying that the international community and aviation bodies should take notice.

He said Pakistan would decide its next step after receiving India’s explanation, adding that envoys of P-5 countries (permanent members of the United Nations Security Council) would be called to the FO and briefed about the incident.

Other political leaders also condemned the incident and appreciated the PAF’s prompt response.

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Promoting Mother Languages: Int’l Mother Language Day Being Observed Today

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All around the world, including Pakistan, today is International Mother Language Day. “Multilingual education is a pillar of intergenerational learning” is this year’s topic for the day.

Numerous events have been planned to honor the day and emphasize the value of Pakistan’s regional languages.

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Foreign Nationals’ Repatriation: Thus Far, 493,648 Afghans Have Left Pakistan

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Afghans and other undocumented foreign people are still being returned to their country of origin in a courteous and secure way.

493,648 Afghan people who entered the country illegally have returned home so far.

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The government “extends” the three-month deployment of Rangers in Mianwali.

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The Interior Ministry brief was accepted by the federal cabinet, according to sources, and was distributed.

According to sources, the Punjabi government requested that Ranger’s deployment be prolonged in order to preserve the status of peace and order in Mianwali.

Additionally, sources revealed that the deployment extension will take effect from February 22, 2024, to May 19, 2024.

The district administration of Islamabad made the decision to prolong the deployment in the federal capital for a period of six months last year.

According to specifics, the local government asked the interior ministry for 300 more Rangers to form a Quick Response Force (QRF).

The stringent security measures in Islamabad led to the decision to prolong the deployment. The district administration requested the extension in writing from the interior ministry.

The federal cabinet gave its approval in May 2023 for the deployment of Pakistan Army soldiers in Balochistan and Rangers in Punjab.

A circular summary was used to sanction the deployment of Rangers and Pakistan Army soldiers in the provinces of Punjab and Balochistan. The deployment of the Rangers was authorized by 7 ATA.

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