Islamabad: The Pakistan Army on Thursday claimed to have detected a high flying projectile coming into its airspace allegedly from India and crashed inside its territory in Punjab province.

“On March 9, at 6:43pm, a high speed flying object was picked up inside the Indian territory…From initial course, it deviated and entered Pakistan territory and fell in Pakistani territory, causing some damage to civilian installations but no loss of life was reported,” Army spokesman Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar told the media.

There was no immediate reaction from the Indian side.

Maj Gen Iftikhar said the object crashed in Mian Channu, Khanewal district of Punjab on Wednesday night. It was launched from the surface and was not mounted on anything and the Pakistan Air Force initiated tactical operations.

“The flight path endangered civilians in both Pakistan and India. India must explain what caused this; this reflects poorly on Indian aviation,” he said, adding that this could have resulted in a major aviation disaster.

To a question, Maj Gen Iftikhar said that it was not shot down but it crashed on its own.

It was flying at 40,000 feet and had endangered many airplanes which were in the Pakistan airspace at that time, he claimed, adding that the projectile travelled about 207 km before falling down. To a question, he said that it was more likely a supersonic unarmed surface-to-surface to missile but investigation had been going on to ascertain its true nature.

He said there is no mechanism between Pakistan and India to share information on these kinds of projectiles or missiles.

“We are fully prepared, we detected the submarine and the missile-like object was also detected. We are watching everything and nothing will go unnoticed,” he said.

He also said that there was no sensitive installation in Mian Channu where the projectile fell.

The spokesperson said that Foreign Office has been informed and it would decide about taking up the issue with India or give a formal statement.

Ties between India and Pakistan nose-dived after a terror attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in 2016 by terror groups based in the neighbouring country. Subsequent attacks, including one on an Indian Army camp in Uri, further deteriorated the relationship.

The relationship deteriorated after India announced withdrawing the special powers of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two union territories in August, 2019.

When asked about the ongoing political turmoil in the country, Maj Gen Iftikhar said that the Army was not interested in politics and played no role in the current political turmoil in the country.