FO questions India’s conduct as N-power

The Foreign Office spokesperson said on Wednesday the firing of BrahMos nuclear capable missile into Pakistan’s territory on March 9, raised several questions about India’s conduct as a nuclear state including, whether it was actually an accident.

Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that an Indian media report, quoting director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as saying that BrahMos fire on March 9, 2022 was “not a cause for any specific concern” was a “disingenuous attempt” by the Indian media to absolve India.

“India also needs to answer questions about the underlying intentions, technical features and reliability of the missile system, safety, security and nuclear command and control protocols, and the presence of rogue elements in the Indian military,” Baloch said in a press release.

“The report is a disingenuous attempt by the Indian state-sponsored media to absolve India of its irresponsible nuclear behaviour by directing this question at the Director General IAEA,” she added, responding to a query regarding the Indian media reports.

Read BrahMos misadventure: accidental or deliberate?

The director general’s response could not be purposely misinterpreted to trivialise the incident of a missile fire with grave implications for regional and global security. The available transcripts showed that IAEA DG responded in negative when asked whether the IAEA had sought information from the Indian government on the incident.

It should have been qualified by stating that IAEA had no mandate on such matters. “India needs to explain several repeated incidents of nuclear and radioactive material theft and illicit trafficking that are more relevant to the IAEA mandate,” the spokesperson said.

It was expected to report these nuclear security related incidents under the IAEA Incidents and trafficking database. These critical questions, which remained unanswered, should continue to be of concern to the international community, the statement added.

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