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Pakistan opposes weaponization of outer space

militarization
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Pakistan has called for steps to prevent the weaponization of outer-space and emphasized that it should be explored and used exclusively for peaceful purposes. Speaking to the General Assembly’s Disarmament and International Security Committee, the permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, Farukh Amil in Geneva urged the need to address the issue of outer space and save it from emerging new realm of conflict and arms race.

He said certain countries have dominance in that realm due to their current technological prowess. He said developing countries will not accept any discriminatory restrictions that hamper their peaceful pursuits in outer space.

Space is the final frontier; it should be free of all the narrow-mindedness and enmity associated with Earth. Therefore, it is vital that this common heritage of humanity be kept free from weapons

The weaponization of space includes placing weapons in outer space or on heavenly bodies as well as creating weapons that will transit outer space or simply travel from Earth to attack or destroy targets in space. Examples include the placing of orbital or suborbital satellites with the intention of attacking enemy satellites, using ground-based direct ascent missiles to attack space assets, jamming signals sent from enemy satellites, using lasers to incapacitate enemy satellites, plasma attacks, orbital ballistic missiles, and satellite attacks on Earth targets.

Read more: USA-Russia-China triangle

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Most of the current space weaponry is limited to Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Systems, which include long-range ICBMs, as a means to target space-based assets. However, states with the US at the front are rapidly taking steps to increase their military footprint in space. China and Russia have proposed an updated UN treaty to ban space-based weapons amidst fears the weaponization of outer-space could prove disastrous. But the US government, which has the world’s largest military, continues to block it.

China has reported measure that the employment of space-based military capabilities by potential adversaries, especially the United States, requires the PLA to develop capabilities to attack space systems

On 11 October, the American Undersecretary of Defense Ellen Lord asserted that Military space issues demand more attention in the government. Observers assert that this hinted at the formation of a specialized space force of the US military. While Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Air Force leaders are reported to oppose the measure, this move and similar others have not gone unnoticed.

China has reported measure that the employment of space-based military capabilities by potential adversaries, especially the United States, requires the PLA to develop capabilities to attack space systems. It is on this evaluation surmise that the loss of critical sensor and communications capabilities could imperil the U.S. military’s ability to achieve victory or to achieve victory with minimal casualties.

Read more: China: A story of a great transformation

On 11 October, the American Undersecretary of Defense Ellen Lord asserted that Military space issues demand more attention in the government. Observers assert that this hinted at the formation of a specialized space force of the US military

Internationally, for many years, it has been agreed that space should be used for peaceful purposes, and for the benefit of all humankind. Examples of uses and benefits include weather monitoring, help in search and rescue, help in potential natural disaster detection, coordinating efforts on detecting and dealing with issues of space debris and minimizing harmful impacts on Earth, research in sciences, health, etc.

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However, the militarization of space could lead to a colonization of space. Space which should be a shared territory will suddenly become a battleground as different nations engage in a free for all. The militarization of war could easily raise the threat of war as any nation perceiving a peril could unleash a “preemptive” or “first strike”.

Read more: A new normal in Russia-China military cooperation

Space is the final frontier; it should be free of all the narrow-mindedness and enmity associated with Earth. Therefore, it is vital that this common heritage of humanity be kept free from weapons.


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