China urges peace in outer space, Pakistan invokes Don Quixote

China urges peace in outer space, Pakistan invokes Don Quixote
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SRINAGAR: Pakistan on Wednesday urged every nation to avoid militarisation of space, hours after India announced that it had shot down a live satellite as part of Mission Shakti. China, meanwhile, expressed hope for peace and tranquillity in outer space, PTI reported.
Referring to the protagonist in a 17th-century Spanish classic, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said that “boasting of such capabilities is reminiscent of Don Quixote’s tilting against windmills”.
Without naming India, the ministry said: “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. 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.”
Beijing’s statement was in response to the PTI news agency’s query. “We have noticed reports and hope that each country will uphold peace and tranquillity in outer space,” China’s Foreign Ministry said. China had conducted a similar operation in 2007.
Earlier on Wednesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that Mission Shakti had made India the fourth country to show anti-satellite missile capability. India later said the operation was an effort to show its capability to protect its space assets. The government said the mission was not targeted at any country.
“We have always maintained that space must be used only for peaceful purposes,” an official statement said. “We are against the weaponisation of outer space and support international efforts to reinforce the safety and security of space based assets.”
Opposition parties in India have praised the Defence and Research Development Organisation scientists that worked on the project but criticised the government as the announcement came just weeks before the Lok Sabha elections begin. The Model Code of Conduct is in place.