India demonstrates anti-satellite power

Pakistan terms it militarisation of outer space

Online Agencies
India on Wednesday became “a space superpower” by acquiring anti-satellite capability, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Wednesday, calling it “a proud moment”. Only the US, Russia and China possessed the technology until now, Modi said in his televised speech.
He narrated that a pre-fixed target- a live satellite in space 300 km away in low earth orbit, was destroyed by the A-SAT in just three minutes.
“This new technology is not against anyone. It is only for the progress of India. We are only doing it for our safety and security.
“Our aim is to maintain peace and not develop a war-like situation,” the Prime Minister assured. The Prime Minister’s announcement came as the country enters the active campaigning phase to the general elections that begin on April 11 and end on May 19. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.
The tenure of the current Modi government will end on May 22. Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday criticised Modi for trying to derive “political mileage” out of the achievements of scientists. “Has Modi gone to space or has he done any research? He is just trying to gain political mileage out of it,” she said on the prime minister’s announcement that the country had demonstrated anti-satellite missile capability by shooting down a live satellite.
Pakistan responds to India’s Anti-Satellite Missile Test
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 – the achievement that puts the country in an exclusive club of space super powers.
“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.
China hopes tranquillity in the outer space
Manwhile, China on Wednesday reacted guardedly to India’s anti-satellite missile test and expressed hope that all countries will uphold peace and tranquillity in the outer space. The Chinese Foreign Ministry, in a written response to a question from PTI on India successfully test-firing an anti-satellite missile, 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.

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