Pakistan in ‘crucial’ talks with UAE over space security program

Officials from the Pakistani space agency announced on Thursday that they are to explore with their Emirati counterparts “in satellite manufacturing and relevant applications.” (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 March 2019

Pakistan in ‘crucial’ talks with UAE over space security program

  • Pakistan aims to increase its presence in space in a bid to drive the country’s socioeconomic development and protect its sovereignty

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has opened “crucial” talks with the UAE aimed at boosting its fledgling space program and strengthening national security.

Officials from the Pakistani space agency announced on Thursday that they are to explore options for joint ventures with their Emirati counterparts “in satellite manufacturing and relevant applications.” 

By collaborating with the UAE, Pakistan aims to increase its presence in space in a bid to drive the country’s socioeconomic development and protect its sovereignty.

Hassam Muhammad Khan, spokesman for the Pakistani Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco), told Arab News: “The UAE is one of our best friends in the Muslim world and collaboration in space-related activities will help both the Emirates and Pakistan.” 

He said that space technology required “huge funds and special skills” which was why Pakistan was hoping it could draw on the UAE’s expertise in space technology. 

Last year, Pakistan signed an agreement with China to send the country’s first mission into space by 2022, and Khan said his country was a strong believer in the peaceful use of outer space and wanted to use technology only for socioeconomic development and national security. 

“The UAE has its own strengths in space technology, and we want to benefit from them,” he added.

Pakistan currently has four remote-sensing and communications satellites. In July last year, it launched two satellites with the help of China, enhancing its ability to predict and ascertain levels of precipitation and runoff water for a given area in the country.

Dr. Qamar Ul Islam, head of space science at the Institute of Space Technology, in Islamabad, said Pakistan lacked satellite launch facilities and capabilities and therefore had to seek assistance from “friendly countries.”

He told Arab News: “The real issues Pakistan faces at the moment are lack of funding, but our collaboration with the UAE in the space sector can really prove beneficial for both countries. 

“It has become crucial for Pakistan to have a good presence in outer space to protect its sovereignty and ensure security.”

Pakistan was represented by Suparco for the first time at the Global Space Congress, which was held in Abu Dhabi on March 19. 

The secretary of Suparco, Dr. Arif Ali, said that the commission was in initial talks with the UAE for potential collaboration in its space program.


Trump had ‘meltdown’ over House vote on Syria, says Pelosi

Updated 10 min 22 sec ago

Trump had ‘meltdown’ over House vote on Syria, says Pelosi

  • Democrats say Trump had a temper tantrum because of the number of Republicans who joined Democrats to vote for a resolution condemning his Syria pullout move

WASHINGTON: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democratic leaders’ White House meeting was cut short after Republican President Donald Trump had a “meltdown” over a House of Representatives vote condemning his Syria withdrawal.
Trump was insulting to Pelosi and the meeting deteriorated into a diatribe by Trump, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters.
“What we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown. Sad to say,” Pelosi told reporters as she and the other Democrats emerged from the White House.
The Democratic leader said Trump had a temper tantrum because of the number of Republicans who joined Democrats to vote for a resolution condemning the president’s decision to withdraw US forces from northeastern Syria, clearing the way for Turkey’s offensive against US-allied Syrian Kurds.
“I think that vote — the size of the vote, more than 2-1 of the Republicans voted to oppose what the president did — probably got to the president. Because he was shaken up by it,” Pelosi said after emerging from the White House.
“And that’s why we couldn’t continue in the meeting because he was just not relating to the reality of it.”
Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy came out of the building later and accused Pelosi of storming out of the meeting.
There was no immediate response from the White House.