Pakistan warns arch-foe India over UFO

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan on Friday warned New Delhi of “unpleasant consequences” for what it said was an unidentified Indian supersonic object that crashed on Pakistani soil.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it on Friday summoned the Indian Chargé d’Affairs in Islamabad to lodge a protest over what it said was an unjustified violation of its airspace. Pakistan called for an investigation into the incident, which it said could endanger passenger flights and civilian lives.

In the statement, Pakistan warned India “to take into account the unpleasant consequences of such negligence and take effective measures to avoid the recurrence of such violations in the future.”

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The two nuclear neighbors have fought three wars and numerous military clashes, the last of which was in 2019 which saw the air forces of the two countries engage in combat.

“On March 9, the Air Defense Operations Center of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) captured a high-speed flying object inside Indian territory,” Pakistani military spokesman Major General Babar Iftikhar said at a hastily held late Thursday evening press conference.

He said the military was not sure of the nature of the object, which it said crashed near the eastern Pakistani city of Mian Chanu and originated in the Indian city of Sirsa in the western Indian province of Haryana.

Pakistan also called on India to share the results of the investigation into the accident.

There was no immediate response from India’s Ministry of External Affairs to a Reuters query on the matter.

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“The flight path of this body was threatening many national and international passenger flights in Indian and Pakistani airspace as well as human lives and land properties,” said military spokesman Iftikhar.

A Pakistan Air Force official said at the press conference that the object is undergoing forensic analysis and preliminary studies indicate that it is a supersonic surface-to-surface missile, but it is not armed.

He said it traveled at an altitude of 40,000 feet at Mach 3 and flew 124 kilometers in Pakistani airspace before crashing.

Iftikhar said the military would not jump to conclusions until they got an explanation from India, but said Pakistan had strongly protested the “blatant violation” of its airspace.

“Whatever the cause of this accident, the Indians should explain,” Iftikhar said.

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Additional reporting by Syed Reda Hassan and Gibran Bashimam; Editing by William MacLean and Kenneth Maxwell

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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