Pakistan, which has opted out of the South Asia Satellite project, termed the satellite launched on Friday as solely made by India and therefore it cannot be called a regional project. Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said: “Pakistan has its own space programme at an advanced level and is ready to share its expertise and technological know-how and was keen to participate in the (Indian) project.”

India had made it clear that it would build, launch and operate the satellite solely, the spokesperson added. He said India offered to “gift” a satellite to Saarc member states, to be named as the “Saarc Satellite”. But it was not willing to develop the project on a collaborative basis, so it was not possible for Pakistan to support it as a regional project under the umbrella of Saarc.”

The South Asia Satellite on Friday blasted off aboard an Indian rocket. The satellite is intended to address the region’s “economic and developmental priorities”. This project will help the region achieve effective communication, better governance, better banking services and better education in remote areas, Modi said. The heads of state of Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives and Bhutan lauded the effort.

Publish date: May 8, 2017 8:49 am| Modified date: May 8, 2017 8:49 am

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