Islamabad, Apr 29: Pakistan is set to launch an ambitious space programme during the next fiscal year with an aim to keep an eye on the Indian side and reduce its dependence on foreign satellites for civil and military purposes, according to a media report.
Several projects will be initiated to develop self-reliance capacity and reduce dependence on foreign satellites, mainly the US and French satellites for civil and military communications.
The budget of the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Organisation (Suparco) for the upcoming fiscal year 2018-19 is Rs 4.70 billion which includes Rs 2.55 billion for three new projects, Dawn News reported.
Suparco has been regularly conducting activities each year to increase awareness of space technology and to promote its peaceful usage amongst students and the masses in Pakistan since 2005.
The funding includes allocation of Rs 1.35 billion for Pakistan Multi-Mission Satellite (PakSat- MM1) and the country is also planning to establish Pakistan Space Centre in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad with the allocation of Rs 1 billion.
The third project is establishment of Space Application Research Centre in Karachi with the budget of Rs 200 million in 2018-19, the report said.
The total cost of PakSat-MM1 is Rs 27.57 billion and that of the space centres is Rs 26.91 billion, it added.
Advanced space programme is the need of time not only due to growing demand from the civil communications, including the GPS, mobile telephony and the internet but due to changing scenario in the region also, analysts have said.
“There are two unusual developments in the region effecting the strategic situation – first of all Pakistan has to keep an eye on Indian side and previously their programme had limited quality advancements but now the US has active cooperation with the Indian satellite programme,” Maria Sultan, a defence analyst said.
NC-PDP responsible for culture of impunity, lack of accountability in Kashmir: Sajad
Srinagar, March 20: Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone Wednesday while expressing grief on the killing of Rizwan Pandith in police custody blamed lack of accountability patronized by two traditional parties to safeguard their own interests.
The killing of a school teacher in police custody is unacceptable in a democratic setup and must be condemned in strongest of terms. It is imperative for the Governor administration to conduct a fair and transparent inquiry into the reasons that led to this unfortunate incident and punish those involved. For people to be able to have belief in the system, justice must not only be done but seen to be done as well”, he said while condemning the killing.
Sajad said that the culture of impunity and lack of accountability started by two traditional political parties and their failure to hold erring police officers in the past accountable has led to normalization of excesses.
“The failure of NC & PDP to hold culprits to account is partly responsible for the death of Rizwan Asad Pandit. This culture of immunity and impunity has to end for people to have any trust in the system. The judicial inquiry ordered in this incident has to be time bound and reach its final conclusion because the way these two parties have used judicial probes to cool down tempers and buy time.”, he added.
Sajad said that NC’s opportunistic politics and the party’s insatiable thirst for power at any cost have been borne by the people of Kashmir over the past many decades.
“The election of 1987, which was rigged to impose NC on the people of Kashmir, was a collective murder that has spread over three bloody decades and cost us nearly one lakh innocent lives till now. It pushed the youth away from the mainstream and forced them to pick up the gun. NC’s thirst for power in 1987 & 1996 elections threw the State into the throes of turmoil and suffering”, he added.
Death of Rizwan in custody is ‘State sponsored act of terror’: KCC&I prez
Srinagar, March 20: Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad, President of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCC&I) Wednesday termed the death of Rizwan Pandith of Awantipora in police custody and the subsequent conduct of the State to be a ‘State sponsored act of terror’.
Sheikh Ashiq as per a statement issued to media said, “Under the garb of fighting terror, the State seems to have declared a war on the civilian population. Repeated provocations, brutalization and killings of unarmed civilian population suggests that decisions have been taken to push Kashmir Valley into a situation of chaos and anarchy. Security agencies have been given a free hand to commit atrocities of the worst kind without any accountability.”
“No effective action has been taken to punish the killers. The responsibility of the State to protect lives of its citizens stands violated. The State has so far chosen to look the other way and only announced a magisterial enquiry. Till the time the enquiry is completed, the killers would be free to roam and commit more atrocities in the society. The infructuous results of earlier enquiries evoke little hope of justice being provided to the victims,” he said.
Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad stated that the stakeholders of different political ideologies needed to not only condemn but also take responsibility for a joint response in this regard.
“Murder of unarmed civilians cannot be business as usual. The business community would be looking forward to a united effort from the society for ensuring that the course of justice is not impeded and guilty pay for shedding innocent blood,” he added.
Police arrests thief at SKIMS Soura, stolen items recovered
Srinagar, March 20: Police on Wednesday arrested a thief involved in theft of mobile phones at SKIMS Soura and recovered the stolen items from his possession.
The spokesman said that police station Soura had received multiple complaints regarding the theft of mobile phones in SKIMS Soura.
Accordingly, a case FIR No. 10/2019 under relevant sections of law was registered and investigation was set into motion.
During the course of investigation, a police team arrested a suspect based on human and technical inputs. The individual identified as Aijaz Ahamd Dar, son of Ghulam Mohammad Dar, a resident of Haigam Sopore, presently residing at Waheedpora Ganderbal, confessed his involvement in the theft cases. He further revealed that he used to target patients/attendants waiting in the queues for obtaining OPD tickets and other reports near the collection centers.
Police recovered 19 stolen mobiles phones from his possession and further investigation is going on.