Almost a month after the Indian missile landed in Pakistan, the Philippines asked the Indian ambassador to explain what happened. According to reports, Manila is concerned regarding the recent incident in Pakistan because it is buying the BrahMos missile from India. Pakistan claimed that a high-speed object entered its airspace on 9th March and fell near Mian Channu in Khanewal District, Punjab. India responded in a press statement that a technical issue during routine maintenance led to the misfiring of a missile that ended up in Pakistan.
No Technical Issue with BrahMos Missile
Now when the buyer Philippines sought an explanation for the technical fault, the seller India said that there was none. Indian ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu S. Kumaran said that the Ministry of Defense clarified that there was no technical issue “as far as they could understand”. However, a technical query was underway and India would further clarify once more information was available.
The accidental fire which India claimed was believed to be a BrahMos missile but it was still unclear what kind of missile was that. It triggered concern in the Philippines because it signed a 375 million USD deal with India on 28th January to buy 3 batteries of the same missile.
Kumaran talked about this in a virtual chat organized by Ananta Center on 5th April.
A Smooth Business Transaction
The supersonic missile is a joint venture by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya. Kumaran said that it was India’s first major weapon deal and the Philippines was the first country ever to buy the BrahMos missile.
In the virtual talk, the Ananta center asked Kumaran if the Philippines was concerned about the India-Russia partnership in the wake of the Ukraine invasion. Kumaran was confident that despite Russia’s support, the India-Philippines partnership will move ahead on a bilateral basis.
An Irresponsible State
India expressed deep regret on 11th March after the accidental firing of a missile and ordered a high-level court of inquiry. It found that the missile indeed landed in the Pakistani area but also expressed a sigh of relief that nobody died.
The Pakistan Foreign Ministry called it an unprovoked violation of its airspace that could have endangered civilians and passenger flights. Pakistan said that the missile was unarmed but it showed how irresponsible India can be while being a nuclear state. It also reiterated its long-standing concern about India posing a significant threat to regional security.
It was not the first time India made a mistake while playing with weapons. In 2019, its Israel-made air defense missile accidentally shot down a friendly helicopter while mistaking it for a Pakistani aircraft.