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Forgotten space programme


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THIS is apropos of the letter ‘Pakistan’s space programme’ by Shakir Lakhani (Feb 14). While I endorse his views, I would like to say that in the 1960s we were far ahead in rocket and space technology in our region due to some dedicated professionals.

One of them was an unsung hero of the PAF, Air Commodore Wladyslaw Turowicz, who was one of the Polish officers who joined the newly-created RPAF shortly after the independence. He became a Pakistani citizen and has also served in the early 1960s as head of the maintenance of the equipment/systems of the PAF.

He was a prominent and noted Polish-origin Pakistani military and rocket scientist and an aeronautical engineer. He is regarded as one of the chief architects of the PAF and Pakistan’s space programme. He was a lead figure in Pakistan’s eagerness to develop high-tech rocket/missile technology of its own.

Mr Turowicz was the administrator of Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) from 1967 to 1970. He has recently been referred to as the ‘Rocket-Missile Man’ of Pakistan by some of the prominent defence analysts for his work towards the development of ballistic missile and space rocket technology in which Pakistan is now one of the world leaders.

In Pakistan, he is highly respected as a scientist and noted aeronautical engineer. He died in Karachi on Jan 8, 1980, and was buried at Christian Cemetry (Gora Qabristan).

Advancement in space technology hasn’t been a priority of our succesive governments for several decades. That is why we have lagged behind.


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Comments (7) Closed

Mar 19, 2013 05:59am
Do not worry about Space, we need to learn to live respectfully on ground (Earth)
Mar 19, 2013 01:29pm
people follow agha waqar & sahir lodhi these days..its an age of information dont talk wisdom..
Jalaluddin S. Hussain
Mar 19, 2013 02:38pm
I agree. It is important that the newly-elected governments, both at the Centre and in the provinces, set up their priorities and give emphasis to the provision of the basic necessities of life to the Pakistani masses. Of course promotion of space programs are also important but should obviously be given lower priorities.
Mar 19, 2013 04:39pm
We should develop missiles so that we can send the people who do not follow our deviated religious thinking to the Outer Space!!
Md Imran
Mar 19, 2013 04:43pm
"He is buried in Gora Qabristan" - i think that says it all.
Shamim Alam,
Mar 19, 2013 07:29pm
Well, you talk of the 'Forgotten Space Programme'. And you also refer to the unsung hero of this or that programme. But if you ask about the scientist who thought and established SUPARCO and other scientific institutions, no one will tell you that it was Prof. Dr. Abdus Salam who had served, from 1959 to 1974, as the Scientific Advisor to the President of PAkistan. It was this world famed scientist of Jhang District of Punjab, who won the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979. What a pity, we forgot not only our Space conquering schemes, but we also forgot the scientific genius, behind Pakistan's science promotion progressive programmes, which ultimately made Pakistan, the 6th nuke power in the world.
ali asghar
Mar 19, 2013 09:51pm
Pakistan is today going down because it alientaes its minorities and persecutes sects. i am a shia and know so many gifted shias who are today forced to contribute to foreign lands due to inhospitable environment at ome.