India Reject Pak Help for Saarc Satelite, Says Its PM's Gift to Region

Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India), July 2, 2015 | Go to article overview

India Reject Pak Help for Saarc Satelite, Says Its PM's Gift to Region


New Delhi, July 2 -- India rejected Pakistan's offer to provide "technical" and "monetary" support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious Saarc satellite project on the ground that it was a "gift" by the country to its neighbours.

During a meeting of space experts from Saarc countries to discuss the modalities of the project last week, India also did not favour suggestions that it should be brought under the ambit of Saarc, asserting that deliberations at bloc level would delay the launch of the satellite on December 8, 2016, the Saarc Day when the government intends to do so.

Modi, during last Saarc Summit in Nepal in November, had announced India's decision to develop the satellite which will benefit all Saarc countries in various fields including telecommunication and tele-medicine.

After giving "cold response" to the project, an eight- member Pakistani delegation attended the Space Technology meet on June 22 which saw the presence of experts from all Saarc member states. Among the South Asian nations, Sri Lanka and Pakistan have fairly advanced space programmes.

"There was a proposal from the Pakistani side that it was ready to offer monetary and technical support. We politely declined it as the project is a gift from India to its Saarc neighbours," said a senior government official. …

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