Pakistan

Pakistan seeks steps to prevent weaponization of outer space

Tehmina Janjua

UNITED NATIONS: A senior Pakistani diplomat, Ambassador Tehmina Janjua, called for measures to halt the weaponization of outer space because it could affect peace and security in the regional and globally.

“Weaponization of outer space is not science fiction anymore,” Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva informed the General Assembly’s Disarmament and International Security Committee on Wednesday.

“With the ever-growing use of outer space by an increasing number of states, both for civilian and military purposes, the potential and the risk of its weaponization cannot be ruled out,” she said.

“Weapons in space would lead to instability, and negatively affect international and regional peace and security,” the Pakistani envoy added.

A 1967 Outer Space Treaty prohibited the placement of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in outer space, Janjua said, while explaining it does not cover the placement of other types of weapons including conventional ones.

Concerned about the negative implications of the anti-ballistic missile defence systems and the pursuit of related advanced military technologies, she said, those weapons were destabilising and could have wide-reaching implications for regional and international security.

“The effects of the introduction of such systems can be destabilising for sensitive regions like South Asia,” the Pakistani envoy said.

She added that it was important to improve efforts toward an accord that addresses the development, deployment and proliferation of such systems.

“Today developing countries, including my country, are tapping into space technology in diverse areas ranging from meteorology and disaster management to economy and telecommunications,” she said, adding, “Their reliance on space technology will grow further in the years to come.”

“The dominance enjoyed by certain countries in outer space owing to their current technological prowess, therefore, cannot last forever,” the ambassador said.

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