Why ISRO's first launch of 2018 made Pakistan nervous

Suspicious of India's prowess in space technology, Pakistan foreign ministry in a statement has said any military use of ISRO satellite could destabilise peace in South Asia.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Jan 12, 2018, 11:56 AM IST
PlayWhy ISRO's first launch of 2018 made Pakistan nervous
Representational image courtesy Pixabay

New Delhi: Its own space agency may be miles behind that of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) but that has not stopped a rather jittery Pakistan from warning India against ISRO's historic launch of its 100th satellite - along with 30 others.

The launch of PSLV-C40 carrying the 710 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite for earth observation and 30 co-passenger satellites took place on Friday from the First Launch Pad (FLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. While it was a historic moment for India - especially after the unsuccessful launch of the IRNSS-1H satellite in August of last year.

Pakistan though was characteristically unimpressed.

Even before lift off had taken place, Pakistan foreign ministry issued a terse warning stating that India should abstain from using its satellites for military purposes. 

"All space technologies, including earth observation satellites, are inherently dual use and can be employed for both civilian and military purposes and therefore it is essential that such pursuits are not directed towards a build-up of destabilizing military capabilities, which can negatively impact the regional strategic stability," read a statement.

Interestingly, Pakistan had established its Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) in 1961 - eight years before India established ISRO. In the following decades though, ISRO has emerged not only established its superiority over its counterpart in Pakistan but is now increasingly being compared to United States' NASA. 

ISRO is helping not just India but several other countries in putting communication, navigation and other sattelites into orbit.