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Pakistan pushes for efforts to prevent weaponisation of outer space at UN

Published Oct 20, 2016 12:39pm

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Pakistan's permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva Ambassador Tehmina Janjua has called for steps to prevent the weaponisation of outer-space, saying it would adversely affect regional and international peace and security.

"Weaponisation of outer space is not science fiction anymore," Janjua told the UN General Assembly's Disarmament and International Security Committee on Wednesday.

"With the ever growing use of outer space by an increasing number of states, both for civilian and military purposes, the potential and the risk of its weaponisation cannot be ruled out," she said during a debate on Outer Space matters.

“Weapons in space would lead to instability, and negatively affect international and regional peace and security," the envoy added.

The 1967 Outer Space Treaty prohibited the placement of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in outer space, she said, while pointing out that it does not cover the placement of other types of weapons including conventional weapons.

Concerned about the negative implications of the development and deployment of anti-ballistic missile defence systems and the pursuit of related advanced military technologies, Ambassador Janjua said those weapons were destabilising and could have wide reaching implications for regional and international security.

"The effects of the introduction of such systems can be destabilising for sensitive regions like South Asia," the envoy said, adding that all those concerns needed to be addressed in a legally binding treaty.

It was essential to redouble efforts toward an agreement that addresses the development, deployment and proliferation of such systems, she said, noting that Pakistan was the co-sponsor of two draft resolutions on the prevention of an arms race in outer space and on no-first-placement of arms in outer space.

The envoy pointed out that space was no longer considered an exclusive preserve of a few developed states.

"Today developing countries, including my country, are tapping into space technology in diverse areas ranging from meteorology and disaster management to economy and telecommunications," she said, adding, "Their reliance on space technology will grow further in the years to come."

"The dominance enjoyed by certain countries in outer space owing to their current technological prowess, therefore, cannot last forever," Ambassador Janjua said.

"And this time," she added, "the developing countries will neither carry the burden of non-proliferation, nor will they accept any discriminatory restrictions which hamper their peaceful pursuits in outer space."

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Comments (70) Closed



MFK Oct 20, 2016 12:47pm

Well Said! Russia and China will back this as they have already voiced their concerns.

Mandy Oct 20, 2016 12:54pm

Does Pakistan has any space technology of its own?

ghazal Oct 20, 2016 01:02pm

pls add proliferation of outer space too, in your push

ABC Oct 20, 2016 01:04pm

Pk space program is not anywhere close to where the world is that's y complaining

Sanjeeb Bose Oct 20, 2016 01:18pm

India will not agree to any regional agreement because China is also started weaponisation of outer space... India have to counter it...

Mani Oct 20, 2016 01:28pm

Of course PPP will be against any action that attacks corruption. They are the most corrupt party in the history of Pakistan. In fact just recently they asked the courts to delay investigation into Panama leaks cause their lawyer was busy. Wow.

Mady Oct 20, 2016 01:47pm

Playing internationalism when indicators for education, development are dismal. Focus on it if you want the world to take you seriously.

Rahul Sharma from india Oct 20, 2016 02:05pm

@Mandy well said

nafees Oct 20, 2016 02:12pm

Very deep observations. Pakistan should not deploy any weapon at outer space.

KT Oct 20, 2016 02:21pm

No treaty can bind on any country on outer space. Tomorrow if any alien vessel enters our solar system they will never accept any treaty made by humans. Similarly any treaty made by aliens for universe is not applicable on our solar system. Limits can be set in accordance of radius of earth to protect satellites but beyond that, universe is an open asset !

Starzan Oct 20, 2016 02:24pm

@Mandy. In circa 1960's, in collaboration with USA NASA, space launch station in Balochistan, Pakistan. Now, 1) independent Space Exploration R&D. 2) Space Exploration Collaboration with Chinese Space programs. 3) Space Exploration collaboration with Iran, Turkey & Saudi Arabia. Thanks for asking. Ask, and you shall receive.

Irfan Baloch Oct 20, 2016 02:28pm

@Mandy Hi "Mandy" Kumar.. thanks for your insightful comments. read beyond your biases & bigotry towards Pakistan & look at the content. I am sure you wont have an issue if South Korean or Malaysian envoy would have said the same thing. but then again.. when anti Pakistan sentiment is hard wired into you then you cant think logically. what a tragedy "Mandy"

Realist Oct 20, 2016 02:26pm

@Mady The United Nations is an "international" forum.Pakistan has a permanent representative there who is at liberty to raise issues which have international implications and obviously as noted in her statement has consequences for South Asia of which Pakistan is a part. Education and development are important topics for discussion but I think the "UN General Assembly's Disarmament and International Security Committee" is hardly the forum to raise them.Cant understand what you wanted to communicate in your comment.

Black Dielsel Oct 20, 2016 02:27pm

@Mandy Why dont you go to space and check it out yourself. Salam

Skeptic Oct 20, 2016 02:30pm

Have we solved all the problems on this earth, or in Pakistan, before we start worrying about 'Weaponisation of Space'?

The government doesn't have resources to even educate poor kids in the country, and we are poking our noses in space!?

Taimoor Khan Oct 20, 2016 02:33pm

Some hard hitting words at the end by ambassador Janjua.

Mahmood Oct 20, 2016 02:39pm

We cannot even manage to operate a decent and efficient Airline in this country, but have the audacity to comment about Space!?

Just a KM away from the Blue Area of ISB, there are kids begging in the streets. We cannot educate, feed and house them. But have now started worrying about Space Weapons.

Something is wrong with the sets of priorities.

Siva Oct 20, 2016 02:45pm

@Skeptic Hats off!

kkl Oct 20, 2016 02:50pm

Its indeed a serious issue...space pollutant and debris is another major issue for entire human race...life was beautiful 20 years back...simple days...I just miss them..I am greatful I lived that kind of free life...

Vague Buster Oct 20, 2016 02:54pm

@Mandy Pakistan launched two satellites in early 90s and third one is planned to be launched in October 2017, SUPARCO is active space research agency of Pakistan and India started her space program years after Pakistan.

Ali Oct 20, 2016 03:01pm

@Vague Buster ok.. India started late and have reached Mars...

M. Malik Oct 20, 2016 03:08pm

"Today developing countries, including my country, are tapping into space technology in diverse areas ranging from meteorology and disaster management to economy and telecommunications,"

Is that why see thousands displaced after each flood an earth quake around the country?

And the economy is not exactly thriving, if you are using the technology correctly.

How about just improving educational and health care facilities. That would be great leap into another time and space!

Bengali from Babgalore Oct 20, 2016 03:15pm

it won't be relevant as many big power is already started to do the same, future control over the space will control all regional power.

Mansan Oct 20, 2016 03:19pm

India should welcome and support this petition !! As long as no other nation has done it so far, it is very right time to raise it , restrict it.

sana-1 Oct 20, 2016 03:31pm

@Mandy Why dont you read the history before showing off? Pakistan was the most advanced Asian nation in space technology and that too, in the era when India was nowhere near it! It lost in between, but dont worry, we are experts in following our interests :)

Starzan Oct 20, 2016 03:28pm

@Skeptic. In the USA, over 45% population receives government assistance for the poor. USA is $20+Trillion in international debt. USA has over $125+Trillion in unfunded national liabilities. USA annually borrowing about $2+Trillions to finance its national budget deficits. USA has over 35,000 murders per year, with largest prisoners population in the world. And, USA has something called NASA Space Programs, funded by borrowed money from Saudi Arabia, China, corrupt money from Pakistan and other countries. Go figure! Thanks for watching.

Skeptic Oct 20, 2016 03:45pm

@Starzan Thanks for your observations. I know US well, and have lived there for over 30 years!

Truth Oct 20, 2016 03:48pm

@Starzan "corrupt money from Pakistan and other countries"

I seriously doubt politicians have bough US treasuries with the looted wealth from Pakistan. They will come under scrutiny by US Justice Dept and IRS, since foreign holders of investment in the US have to comply with certain disclosure requirements, as well as KYC - 'Know Your Customer'. Though mos likely, held under the 'offshore' company names or third parties.

Just as banks all over the world also have to keep tabs on Americans holding bank accounts overseas and have to file documents to meet FATCA requirements.

INDIAN CITIZEN Oct 20, 2016 03:49pm

@SANA-1 please get your facts correct.

Vague Buster Oct 20, 2016 04:24pm

@Ali There is a difference between reaching Mars and landing on Mars, India just reached the orbit and that is not impossible for any country who already had launched satellites in space, besides that better pictures are available on google Mars compared to what Indian rocket sent. Above all, I doubt if India could make avionics for reaching Mars, why they still purchase short range missiles from Israel.

Mady Oct 20, 2016 04:23pm

@Starzan "USA annually borrowing about $2+Trillions to finance its budget deficits. USA has something called NASA Space Programs, funded by borrowed money from Saudi Arabia... Pakistan"

Why don't Saudi, Pakistani Govt use money to fund its own education, research programs? USA Govt. does not compel other countries to fund their programs.

Suleman Oct 20, 2016 04:35pm

First ask China to de-weaponise outer space.

Akshay Oct 20, 2016 04:57pm

Can Pakistan say the same thing to its all weather friend China which has already tested anti satellite missiles and Laser beaming satellites in space?

Akshay Oct 20, 2016 05:11pm

@Mansan Who said you that no other nation has done this. China has already tested ASAT and deployed Laser beaming satellite in space.

khanm Oct 20, 2016 06:27pm

Pakistan pushes for efforts to prevent weaponisation of outer space at UN.. no one will listen to Pakistan... keep pace with the rapid change world..make headway in technological advancement...take interest in achievement not in embezzlement...

sana-1 Oct 20, 2016 06:37pm

@INDIAN CITIZEN Get out of your typical myopic Indian view..... the world is much larger then that....

Azeez Oct 20, 2016 06:47pm

@Vague Buster : what you say about china purchasing S-400 missiles from Russia

Ghaznavi Oct 20, 2016 06:57pm

@Mandy "Does Pakistan has any space technology of its own?" Yes it does. I don't know what you have been taught in India but google SUPARCO and you can get further educated. Pakistan has the capability of lauching commercial satellites. It's just matter of priorities,

Indian view Oct 20, 2016 06:57pm

@Vague Buster myself being from space industry I find your comment rather amusing and insulting for those hard working scientists.You are trying to say that it's so easy to launch probes to mars and way easier to launch satellites.I will take your comment as naive one from somebody who's no understanding of rockets,satellites,flight mechanics and the technology and hard brainstorming behind achieving the success..here is one little fact-even a small nanosatellite required over a year to design,the testing and optimization required another 6months or so..if you add a orbiter it's atleast a 5yr planning,not many nation has the technical knowhow..and these are the easier part..if I talk about launch vehicle then only 8 nation has the required capability that too of polar orbit,if I add geostationary orbit the club shrinks to 6nation(EU is a conglomerate).So don't tell anybody that launching satellites is an easy task.if it's that easy Pakistan would been launching its own satellite by now

amoret Oct 20, 2016 08:06pm

There are only three countries which are weaponizing space-- US, Russia and China, in that order.

Zak Oct 20, 2016 08:34pm

Pakistan leads the way. Well done Ambassador, you have taken up the cause of other nations.

Zak Oct 20, 2016 08:35pm

@Mandy yes, under Sapco.

Zak Oct 20, 2016 08:37pm

@Sanjeeb Bose india is poor and a minion , this is for US, China and Russia. For india, just resolve kashmir with Pakistsn.

Mandy Oct 20, 2016 09:13pm

@Zak U.S, Russia, India and China are in the same league.

Prateik Oct 20, 2016 09:30pm

Too late. Its already done.

Sanjeeb Bose Oct 20, 2016 09:29pm

@Zak India will do whatever it takes for her national interest... Being poor or rich hardly makes any difference ... India is as important as US, China and Russia...

Najeeb Ahmad Oct 20, 2016 10:02pm

Pakistan has no direct interest in outer space nither has much capability to compete others but the issue is international and many would agree with that even China.

Alba Oct 20, 2016 10:13pm

@Indian view .... .... That has been one of Pakistan's stumbling blocks all along. Pakistanis believe everything is So Very Easy that anyone can do it. Of course they all use the addendum, "With God's Help." Two of the world's very greatest scientists, Michael Faraday and Nikola Tesla, never asked for God's help. Without them Humanity would have no "Modern World" and few modern conveniences. No automobiles and trucks. No mobile phones. No jetliners. No refrigerators or air conditioning. No electrical power grids. No factory control systems. No Electronics at all. Faraday in the 18th century and Tesla in the 19th century were both theorists and practical inventors. Einstein was the great theorist in the 20th century but he invented nothing.

sri Oct 20, 2016 10:13pm

Interesting. So, the envoy says that outer space weaponisation has an impact on South Asia. Cool, so Pakistan wants a proposal with India to refrain from outer space weaponisation?

Sri1 Oct 20, 2016 10:21pm

Smart move. India already has a credible second strike capability with a huge powerful Navy and increasing subs and carriers. Given Indian advancements in its Space program, that would be the natural third strike capability. But that is most probably China specific, not against some third world nation.

Kau Oct 20, 2016 10:45pm

Its is not the time. China has started to weaponize the space. Once done they will come and use their veto as they did against India in NSG against any nation including Japan,India or Australia and the EU.

Nelsonw Oct 20, 2016 10:54pm

@nafees first try an send a rocket in space even without payload.

Nelsonw Oct 20, 2016 11:24pm

The target is MIRV project of India .Multiple independent Reentry Vehicle. Deployment schedule 2018. China sponsored Pakistan delivery at UN scenario.

A Shah Oct 21, 2016 12:52am

Good move to stop China.

Muddy Oct 21, 2016 03:40am

It's a commendable initiative by Pakistan. It should champion the cause...

grtIndian Oct 21, 2016 04:47am

@Starzan any satellite or rockets sent from these stations

Ak Oct 21, 2016 05:47am

@Vague Buster it's no big deal. Pakistan can reach Mars , but why waste talent for non productive outcome.

lootra Oct 21, 2016 06:20am

It's funny how everyone on this forum is getting into arguments about Pakistan's space program when ultimately it has global implications. Simply speaking, while it is an overall noble goal it carries no meaning coming from a non space faring nation. That is applicable to not just Pakistan but even a European country would be ignored unless it had the economy or influence to impact global affairs.

The new global rivalries and improvements in technology means that weaponization of space will happen. It's just a matter of time and then soon it won't matter how much. So we can all keep commenting on news forums but the reality will not change.

Tanuj Kapoor Oct 21, 2016 06:57am

An alibi for hiding the absence of any space competencies and nervous about India's big step towards inexpensive and advanced space technology.

Ravan Oct 21, 2016 07:57am

@Mahmood only you wrote sensibly

Zak Oct 21, 2016 09:44am

@Mandy only according to your media and its gullible readers. In reality India is one of the poorest nations economically struggling with a debt of $500 bn. Not in the league of super 3.

Ali176 Oct 21, 2016 10:09am

@Alba dude half knowledge is most dangerous stuff ,you seems to be from electrical and electronics field. Go check about Maxwell. .faraday was experimenting physicist .he had zero education . everything done by him was just observation without science involved. Most of other scientist used faraday observation and gave physics involved behind it. As for Einstein I am sure you are copying word of your teacher . Einstein on any day even today is miles ahead of any scientist .you do realise Einstein got Nobel prize for photo electric effect and not for relativity as at that time not a single member of noble prize committee was able to understand relativity .go ask your teacher to do some more research .

Ajay Oct 21, 2016 11:02am

Next month we are deploying our battle tanks in space, and by 2017 end we are also planning to deploy a nuclear submarine in geosynchronous orbit. What will you do?

Gaurav Oct 21, 2016 11:06am

Meanwhile India pushes for efforts to prevent weaponisation of Moon, Mars and beyond.

Tony Singh Oct 21, 2016 11:58am

@sana-1 P love nostalgia!!

Himanshu Oct 21, 2016 03:32pm

@nafees You need technology to do it and maintain it. which needs money

Kulbhushan Yadav Oct 21, 2016 11:10pm

I think Pakistan should use its higher than mountain friendship with China and ask Chinese not to go ahead with their space weaponize programs. Once China abandons it, other may follow the suit.

techscribe Oct 21, 2016 11:31pm

@Ali176 Nobel prize is not an indicator of brilliance. Obama got the Nobel prize for peace even before he had done remotely anything to push peace. Mother Theresa got the nobel prize for peace for proselytising dying poor in Calcutta and now Bob Dylan has got a Nobel prize for literature. However I am not saying Einstein wasn't bright. With the theory of relativity he was ahead of the times and the jury at Nobel was only that good.

Lootra Oct 22, 2016 12:44am

@Zak National debt is proportional to the size of economy. You keep mentioning India's $500 billion debt. That may be a very large amount for Pakistan but is a very reasonably small amount for a $4 trillion economy of India at just about 25%. The same amount will be absolutely negligible like pocket change for a country like USA.

Hope that clears your basics about national debt. Please don't worry about India's external debt. Remember India does not borrow from IMF or seeks any external aid for growing it's economy or defence preparedness. For India, progress on poverty, economy and defence is happening together.

XYZ Oct 22, 2016 04:25pm

War does not determine who is right - only who is left. Bertrand Russell