India accidentally fires a missile into Pakistan: Delhi apologises for 'regrettable' maintenance error that led to weapon blasting into its nuclear-armed sworn enemy

 India's military accidentally fired a missile into Pakistan, New Delhi's defence ministry said on Friday, claiming that routine maintenance made the missile go off because of a 'technical malfunction'. 

The missile landed in 'an area of Pakistan', the defence ministry said in a statement, adding that a high-level inquiry had been ordered. India called the bombing 'deeply regrettable', but added it was a 'matter of relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident'.

Both India and Pakistan are nuclear-armed states, sharing a long history of tension along the border, most notable in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Indian military "mistakenly" fires a missile into Pakistani territory. No lives were lost, it said

Indian military "mistakenly" fires a missile into Pakistani territory. No lives were lost, it said\ THIS ARTICLE

The statement came hours after Islamabad's foreign ministry condemned what it called an 'unprovoked violation of its airspace by an Indian origin "super-sonic flying object"'.

The missile damaged some civilian property, said Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations, a wing of the Pakistan Armed Forces, but said 'it was certainly unarmed'.

When asked at the press briefing if the missile was intended to test Pakistan's air defence capability, the spokesperson said: 'I think it is too early to say anything about that.'

India's charge d'affaires in Islamabad had been summoned to the foreign office for a 'strong protest', it added.

A photo shows the destroyed missile picked up by Pakistani Air Defence

A photo shows the destroyed missile picked up by Pakistani Air Defence

Debris was left scattered by the impact

Debris was left scattered by the impact

The 'imprudent launch' had damaged property on the ground and put at risk both civilian lives and aircraft in Pakistani airspace, it said, accusing India of 'callousness towards regional peace and stability'.

New Delhi has more than 500,000 troops stationed in Indian-administered Kashmir, where rebel groups have battled for decades for the region's independence or its merger with Pakistan.

New Delhi accuses Islamabad of backing the insurgents, which it denies.

Indian aircraft bombed what New Delhi called a terrorist training camp deep inside Pakistan in 2019 after a suicide bombing claimed by a Pakistan-based militant group killed 40 Indian troops.

In aerial skirmishes over Kashmir the next day, at least one Indian jet was shot down and its pilot captured by Pakistan, but Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had him released in a 'peace gesture'.


Pakistan was brought into being at the time of the partition of British India in 1947, in response to the demands of Islamic nationalists.

Nearly a third of the pre-partition Muslim population remained in India 

Under the agreement, the ruler of Kashmir - which had historically been autonomous - could choose to join either India or Pakistan.

He hoped that Kashmir could become independent by not choosing either one.  

But a rebellion broke out among his Muslim subjects, who received support from Pashtun tribesmen. He asked India to intervene.

India agreed only to do so, but only if he joined the union.

Pakistan intervened as well with the support of the Muslim subjects in Kashmir.

A formal ceasefire was declared on 1949 after the United Nations intervened, asking for a referendum on Kashmir's statehood - but India insisted insurgents must first be driven out of the region. 

The referendum never happened, and the majority of the Muslim population continued to live in India-administered Kashmir.

Tensions boiled over when Pakistan attempted to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir, leading to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 which saw the largest tank battle since World War II.

Two more wars took place between India and Pakistan, the first occurring in 1971 when Bangladesh declared independence, and the second becoming known as the Kargil War, occurring in 1999, also over Kashmir.

The region was granted both statehood and autonomy for most of the 20th century. That changed in 2019, however, when India stripped it of both privileges.

The controversy was made worse when India formally split the mountainous Ladakh region off from the rest of the region.

Tensions flared up along the border following the dispute, leading to several clashes between India and Pakistan in 2019 - when skirmishes erupted over the border.

Kashmir also borders China, which went to war with India in 1965, and went head-to-head again in a border clash which left 20 Indian troops dead.

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