Monthly Archives: March 2022

Pakistan MFA on Indian Missile Launch

The March 18 press briefing from Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry contained a good summary of Islamabad’s portion concerning the March 9 launch of an Indian missile into Pakistan:

I am sure you have followed closely the grave incident of unprovoked and flagrant violation of Pakistan’s airspace by an Indian supersonic missile that fell to ground near Mian Channu causing damage to civilian property on 9 March 2022.

The flight path of the missile also endangered many international and domestic commercial flights both in Indian and Pakistani airspace as well as human life and property on ground.

You are aware of the briefing by DG ISPR and DGPR PAF of 10 March, and the summoning of the Indian Charge d’Affaires (Cd’A) on 10th March to convey our strong protest. On 11 March, Indian Press Information Bureau’s Defence Wing issued a statement admitting that a missile was ‘accidently’ launched from India due to ‘technical malfunction’ during the course of a ‘routine maintenance’. Taking note of that statement, the Ministry issued a Press Release on 12 March in which questions were raised regarding India’s security protocols and technical safeguards against accidental or unauthorized launch of missiles in a nuclearized environment. The Indian CdA was again called in that day and formally conveyed the Government of Pakistan’s serious concerns on the Indian press statement. A demarche was also handed over.

The grave nature of the incident raises several fundamental questions regarding security protocols and technical safeguards against accidental or unauthorized launch of missiles in a nuclearized environment.

Therefore such a serious matter cannot be addressed with simplistic explanations proffered by the Indian authorities.

Some of the questions that need to be answered include:

• India must explain the measures and procedures in place to prevent accidental missile launches and the particular circumstances of this incident.

• India needs to clearly explain the type and specifications of the missile that fell in Pakistani territory.

• India also needs to explain the flight path/trajectory of the accidently launched missile and how it ultimately turned and entered into Pakistan?

• Was the missile equipped with self-destruct mechanism? Why did it fail to actualize?

• Are Indian missiles kept primed for launch even under routine maintenance?

• Why did India fail to immediately inform Pakistan about accidental launch of the missile and waited to acknowledge till after Pakistan announced the incident and sought clarification?

• Given the profound level of incompetence, India needs to explain if the missile was indeed handled by its armed forces or some rogue elements?

We believe that the whole incident indicates many loopholes and technical lapses of serious nature in Indian handling of strategic weapons. Indian decision to hold an internal court of inquiry is not sufficient since the missile ended up in Pakistani territory. Pakistan has demanded a joint probe to accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident.

Given the short distances and response times, any misinterpretation by the other side could lead to counter measures in self-defence with grave consequences. Pakistan, therefore, calls upon the international community to take serious notice of this incident of grave nature in a nuclearized environment and play its due role in upholding and promoting strategic stability in the region.

Let me inform that Pakistan has briefed the P-5, European and other countries on this matter. The Foreign Minister has also spoken to UN Secretary-General and also addressed a letter to the President of the UN Security Council and the Secretary-General on 14th March on this incident.

The letter also draws attention to India’s persistent aggressive and irresponsible actions, its massive arms build-up as well as its offensive military doctrines and force postures, which pose an ever-present threat to peace, security and stability in South Asia. It also calls upon the Security Council to demand from the Government of India to: (a) hold a joint investigation into the missile incident along with Pakistan to accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident; (b) desist from any further actions that would jeopardize regional peace and security; and (c) take measures to provide reassurances to Pakistan and the world community about the security and safety of India’s weapons systems and the credibility of its command and control systems.

Iran on US Sanctions Origin

This IRNA piece provides an Iranian government perspective on US sanctions. Most of it will be familiar, but I find it interesting that the analysis begins with 2001:

Since 2001, the Americans have come up with the conclusion that Iran can be used as a test sample for the pilot studies on effectiveness of the US sanctions. Therefore, they decided to impose sanctions as a semi-hard means of power against Iran since 2001. By passing the Patriot Act 2001, the Americans set the foundations of today’s sanctions and started their economic war against Iran

L Curtis on Balakot and Nuclear Weapons

From this February interview:

I think the one mistake that was made was that immediately following the terror attack statements were made by senior U.S. government officials that were interpreted as giving India a green light for a retaliatory strike against Pakistan. In the future, U.S. officials need to be extremely careful in their statements following a rise in tensions between India and Pakistan of this nature, given the very dangerous implications of escalation due to the fact both have nuclear weapons capabilities

Namibia and the NSG

According to this report for the BWC RevCon, Namibia is considering NSG membership and is linking this effort to potential BWC accession:

On 25 April 2019, an initiative to universalize the BWC was launched by France via its embassy in Windhoek to encourage Namibia to join the BWC. France highlighted the importance of the BWC, the 2019 French Chairmanship, as well as the benefits of joining the Convention. France also expressed its intention to provide technical and judicial assistance for the accession process and the transposition of the law into national law in the event of accession. On 3 May, Namibia informed France that it was considering applying to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and a prerequisite for joining the group would be for Namibia to accede to the BWC, alongside other treaties. For that reason, Namibia is reviewing the possibility of joining the Convention. Furthermore, Namibia was carefully considering the French offer of technical and legal assistance for the accession process. 

The Wire on Nuclear Terrorism

Sobotka: Why the fuck didn’t you tell me what was in that motherfucking can?

Spiros: Now you wanna know what’s in the cans? Before you wanted to know nothing. Now you ask. Guns, OK? Drugs, whore, vodka, BMWs. Beluga caviar, or bombs, maybe? Bad terrorists with big nuclear bombs. I’m kidding you, Frank, it’s a joke. But you don’t ask … because you don’t wanna know.