Concern voiced over militarisation of space and artificial intelligence by India

Published May 28, 2021
In this file photo, the Indian Space Research Organisation's GSAT-9 on board the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09), launches in Sriharikota in the state of Andhra Pradesh. —AFP/File
In this file photo, the Indian Space Research Organisation's GSAT-9 on board the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09), launches in Sriharikota in the state of Andhra Pradesh. —AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Officials on Thurs­day termed militarisation of space and artificial intelligence by India through western support an emerging threat for Pakistan’s security.

This was the upshot of a discussion hosted by the Islamabad Policy Institute on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the 1998 nuclear tests.

The two panelists at the discussion titled ‘Pakistan’s Quest for Peace and Strategic Stability in South Asia’ were Adviser to Strategic Plans Division Ambassador Zamir Akram and Director General Arms Control and Disarmament at the Foreign Office Kamran Akhtar.

The panelists did reiterate their concerns about the “tenuous” strategic stability of the region and India’s aggressive posture, including its plans for disarming pre-emptive strikes against Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal in a conflict, but they specifically emphasised the emerging challenges which, they said, could not be ignored anymore.

Ambassador Akram in his presentation noted that India was working on integrating new warfare technologies — cyberwarfare, artificial intelligence, robotics and lethal autonomous weapons — in its arsenal with the American support.

“Pakistan will have to respond to these developments and cannot remain complacent,” he stressed.

He said the anti-satellite weapon tested by India in March 2019 brought a qualitative change in the threat spectrum because of the danger to the country’s nascent space infrastructure from India.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2021

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