Hours after India successfully tested an Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Missile against a live satellite in low-Earth orbit, its neighbours Pakistan and China reacted to India's successful space mission. In a written statement to a question on India successfully test-firing an anti-satellite missile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said: "We have noticed reports and hope that each country will uphold peace and tranquillity in outer space".
China expressed hope that all countries "can earnestly protect lasting peace and tranquillity in space". Meanwhile, India's arch-rival Pakistan has reportedly 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". The neighbouring nation appealed to the international community to condemn India's action and strengthen international laws regarding the militarisation of space.
"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," India Today quoted a Pakistan government spokesperson as saying.
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Pakistan has been a strong supporter of prevention of arms race in outer space, the spokesperson reiterated. "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," he added.
The United States and Russia are yet to make any comment. After successfully completing the operation, India has become the fourth country to have tested an anti-satellite weapon after the United States, Russia and China.
China conducted an ASAT in January 2007 that was capable of shooting down satellites at an altitude of over 800 kilometres in the lower earth orbit (LEO). US was the first country to acquire the ASAT technology in 1958 which was followed by USSR in 1964.
Calling it "Mission Shakti", the Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the country's first test of such technology as a major breakthrough, saying that it was an important step towards securing India's safety, economic growth and technological advancement.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar