Pakistan’s space programme neglected since its inception, says Saadat
ISLAMABAD: President Centre for Aerospace and Security Studies (CASS) Air Chief Marshal (R) Kaleem Saadat Tuesday said Pakistan’s space programme has been neglected since its inception in 1961.
The former Air Chief made these remarks in his keynote address at a roundtable discussion on “India’s Space Programme: Global Implications” organized by Arms Control and Disarmament Centre (ACDC) of the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) here.
He said Pakistan’s space programme was initiated in 1961 prior to that of India’s space programme whereas due to its less scope at that time failed to get due attention of the policy makers.
“There is a huge gap between India and Pakistan’s Space programme and such differences are present in the economic and other sectors as well. The world must realize that such differentials lead to instability in the region,” he added.
Saadat noted that Pakistan was not able to pursue both nuclear and space programmes simultaneously due to paucity of funds. However, the nuclear programme received more attention of the quarters concerned owing to its direct link with the country’s defence and increasing security threat.
He said in order to narrow the difference between the Indian and Pakistani Space Programmes, the latter had to allocate resources on priority basis, provide assistance to the administrative departments to complete the Space programme. “Moreover, we need activism to accomplish our Space Programme that entails dedication and commitment to achieve the set target with maximum results,” he insisted.
The former Air Chief mentioned that the rule-based system was disappearing from the world as arms and disarmament treaties were unfulfilled whereas the US backed out of Paris Agreement to mitigate climate change. “In this scenario, Pakistan needs to enhance its capabilities in space domain to make Indian Space programme a house of glass. We need to exploit our Space programme commercially with a dual-use approach to overcome dependence on the government,” he said.
“The anti-satellite weapons (ASAT) developed by India was not a big deal rather that capability has to be created to thwart Indian dominance in space domain,” Air Chief Marshal (R) Kaleem Saadat added.
Research Fellow ISSI Ghazala Yasmin Jalil gave a detailed presentation on the Indian Space Programme and its global implications. She highlighted that India’s dominance of the 4th medium of warfare (space) was also its ambition to dominate the region and become a global power. “India’s ASAT test on March 27 last year created 400 pieces of debris which is detrimental for other space satellites in space. India’s space programme is the 5th largest in the world and its space based assets give an advantage to its nuclear forces, enhance its conventional superiority over Pakistan and is a direct threat for its neighbours,” she added. - APP