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PR Short Notes


Photo Source: Dawn

Pakistan Reader# 653, 26 August 2023

Pakistan on Chandrayaan Mission: From appreciation to introspection



The success of the mission has also brought into focus Pakistan’s own space programme and its achievements and pitfalls.

Rohini Reenum

On 23 August, India successfully completed Chandrayaan-3’s landing on the Moon. Its efforts were lauded across countries

Political and Governmental Responses
Responses from Pakistan – by the government, leaders and people were surprisingly positive. Fawad Chaudhry, former minister of Information and Broadcasting in the Imran Khan government, who had mocked India after Chandrayaan-2 failed to land successfully, described it as a “great moment.” He tweeted the following “What a great moment for #ISRO as #Chandrayaan3 lands on the Moon, I can see lots of young scientists celebrating this moment with Mr Somnat Chairman ISRO, only Younger generation with dreams can change the world … good luck,”. Hours before the Chandrayaan-3 landing, he had urged the Pakistani government to broadcast the event live on national television. This request triggered a debate on Pakistan's social media platforms, prompting a YouTuber to gather public opinion on whether India's big moon moment should be televised.
Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch during her briefing on Friday said: “I can only say that it is a great scientific achievement, for which ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) scientists deserve appreciation.”

Critical introspection
There were some hilarious responses from the Pakistani citizens on social media. One person compared Pakistan to moon as both of them lag behind in basic infrastructure, like water, gas and electricity. This response was picked-up and reported by several media outlets in India.

Responses in Media
Dawn in an article titled “India becomes first nation to land spacecraft near Moon’s South Pole”, stated that India is closing in on milestones set by global powers such as the United States and Russia, conducting many of its missions at much lower price. It also mentioned that India has been able to do that by adapting existing technology and using an abundance of highly skilled engineers who earn a fraction of their foreign counterparts’ wages.

Introspection on Pakistan’s Space Programme
The success of the mission has also brought into focus Pakistan’s own space programme and its achievements and pitfalls. In an article titled, “India’s space quest”, Dawn while lauding India’s achievement, cited reasons for the earth-bound nature of the Pakistani space programme. It stated that this is due to the fact that Pakistan has become a consumer of science and technology rather that a producer of knowledge. It further argued that Pakistan’s space agency has been helped by retired military men and not experts in the field and that their education system is not producing required manpower to give Pakistan a qualitative edge in Science and Technology.

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