ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said on Wednesday that it was against the militarisation of outer space, hours after India’s announcement of shooting down a live satellite with a missile – a rare achievement that puts the country in an exclusive club of space super powers.
China, on the other hand, expressed hope that all countries will uphold peace and tranquillity in the outer space. It said: “We have noticed reports and hope that each country will uphold peace and tranquillity in outer space”.
China conducted such a test in January 2007 when its anti-satellite missile destroyed a defunct weather satellite.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier announced that India successfully test-fired an anti-satellite missile by shooting down a live satellite. He also that the action was not directed against any country and the satellite was a pre-determined target orbiting at an altitude of 300 km.
The test makes India the fourth country in the world after the US, Russia and China to acquire the strategic capability to shoot down enemy satellites.
“Space is the common heritage of mankind and every nation has the responsibility to avoid actions which can lead to the militarisation of this arena,” Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said in a statement. He said Pakistan was a “strong proponent of the United Nations resolution on Prevention of Arms Race in Outer Space”.
“Boasting of such capabilities (to destroy satellite) is reminiscent of Don Quixote’s tilting against windmills,” he said, referring to India’s test.
“We hope that countries which have in the past strongly condemned demonstration of similar capabilities by others will be prepared to work towards developing international instruments to prevent military threats relating to outer space,” Faisal said, without naming any country.
Mission Shakti, which was led by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, was aimed at strengthening India’s overall security, Modi said in his address that comes a fortnight before the start of the general election.
In New Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement that India has no intention of entering into an arms race in outer space.
“We have always maintained that space must be used only for peaceful purposes. We are against the weaponisation of Outer Space and support international efforts to reinforce the safety and security of space-based assets,” the MEA said.