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India ‘deeply regrets’ accidental firing of missile inside Pakistan

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The Indian defence ministry regretted on Friday that a missile “accidentally” entered Pakistan and fell in Khanewal district’s Mian Channu area on Wednesday, attributing the incident to a “technical malfunction”.

“On March 9, 2022, in the course of routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile,” the ministry said in a statement. “It is learnt that the missile landed in an area of Pakistan.”

“The government has taken serious view and ordered a high-level court of enquiry,” the statement added.

The ministry said while the incident was “deeply regrettable, it is also a matter of relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident”.

The Indian defence ministry’s statement comes a day after Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar briefed the media about the incident, calling for an explanation from Delhi.

“On March 9, at 6:43pm, a high-speed flying object was picked up inside the Indian territory by Air Defence Operations Centre of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF),” he told media persons in Islamabad, adding the object suddenly manoeuvred towards Pakistani territory from its initial course and violated Pakistan’s air space, ultimately falling near Mian Channu at 6:50pm.

“It was a supersonic flying object, most probably a missile, but it was certainly unarmed,” he said at the time.

“It is important to highlight that the flight path of this object endangered many international and domestic passenger flights — both in Indian and Pakistani air space — as well as human life and property on ground,” he added.

“Whatever caused this incident to happen, it is for the Indians to explain. It, nevertheless, shows their disregard for aviation safety and reflects very poorly on their technological prowess and procedural efficiency,” he further stated.

He said Pakistan “strongly protests this flagrant violation and cautions against recurrence of any such incident in the future”.

Earlier today, the Foreign Office (FO) summoned the Indian envoy to register Pakistan’s protest over the unprovoked violation of its airspace, saying such “irresponsible incidents” reflected the neighbouring country’s “disregard for air safety and callousness towards regional peace and stability”.

It also called for a thorough and transparent investigation of the incident, the results of which should be shared with Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed concern over the incident, saying that the international community and aviation bodies should take notice.

He said Pakistan would decide its next step after receiving India’s explanation, adding that envoys of P-5 countries (permanent members of the United Nations Security Council) would be called to the FO and briefed about the incident.

Other political leaders also condemned the incident and appreciated the PAF’s prompt response.

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Saudi Arabia rewards brave police officer ASP Shehrbano with a royal pension.

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Sources claim that when the two met at the Saudi embassy, where the ambassador was entertaining the courageous female officer, the diplomat gave ASP Shehrbano the information.

The Saudi ambassador praised the police officer’s bravery and assured her that her family’s travel expenses to Saudi Arabia as a royal guest will be covered by the Saudi royal family.

He gave the ASP high marks for her poise and selfless dedication to her work in managing an agitated environment.

One day before, the Gulberg ASP visited the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Syed Asim Munir, at General Headquarters.

The head of the army acknowledged the significant contribution Pakistani women made to society as a whole.

He was cited as adding, “Since independence, Pakistani women have made a name for themselves both at home and abroad thanks to their skill, perseverance, and determination.

Additionally, ASP Shehrbano’s name was suggested by IG Punjab Usman Anwar for the Quied e Azam Police award.

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36% of fresh faces make it to the National Assembly.

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Following the general elections of this year, a record 36% of new members have joined the National Assembly.

There are now 96 new legislators that have been elected to the assembly out of 265 total. In the general elections, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has elected the most number of fresh faces as Independents.

Of the new faces, eleven PPP and MQM members, as well as fifteen PML-N members, have become MNAs for the first time. The IPP’s Abdul Aleem Khan and Awn Chaudhry were elected to the National Assembly for the first time.

Ataullah Tarar of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, Mir Jamal Khan Raisani, the party’s youngest member, was also elected from Balochistan for the first time and made it to the lower house.

Sher Afzal Marwat, Latif Khosa, and Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, who is supported by the PTI, are some of the fresh faces. In the last parliament, Shandana Gulzar had a reserved seat; however, this time, she was elected to a general seat.

Arshad Vohra, Syed Mustafa Kamal, and Rauf Siddiqui of the MQM were also elected to the National Assembly for the first time.

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The government declares March 2 a public holiday.

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In the province capital, Madhu Lal Hussain’s 436th annual three-day urs festivities will get underway on Saturday.

Secretary Auqaf Dr. Tahir Raza will execute the customary chador laying on the saint’s grave to kick off the urs festivities.

On this occasion, ulema Mushaikh, members of the Religious Committee, and a sizable crowd of devotees will take part.

For the Urs gift, the Auqaf Department has set up Rs 459,000. The agency and local police put together impenetrable security plans for the guests.

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