Pakistan has decided to send two officials from space research commission to attend a seminar organised by the SAARC Disaster Management Centre (SDMC) in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar, according to Indian Express report. The five-day seminar was shifted from Delhi. A senior government official said that Pakistan nominated two representatives to be a part of the seminar on application of space technology in monitoring and managing risk. The move comes amid rising diplomatic and cross-border tension between India and Pakistan.
Earlier, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-MkII) rocket carrying the South Asia Satellite (GSAT-9) was renamed as SAARC Satellite after Pakistan opted out of the programme, according to reports.
The other SAARC countries — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka — are sending participants to attend the seminar. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani is likely to attend the opening session on Wednesday.
The SDMC is also organising another seminar — ‘programme on short-range early warning system’ — which is likely to be held next month and will be attended by experts and special invitees from SAARC countries. According to IE report, Pakistan wanted the SDMC to be located in their country, but a compromise was worked out during a SAARC meet last year. It was decided that the SDMC would be set up in India, while an existing centre in Pakistan would be upgraded to look at environmental issues.
Earlier this year, Pakistan was invited for the two-day meeting of the SAARC grouping on animal diseases held in New Delhi recently but the neighbouring country chose not to send its representative, according to PTI report.
Meanwhile, Pakistan yesterday had said the SAARC member states should make concerted efforts to transform the regional grouping into an effective platform. According to PTI report, President Mamnoon Hussain during a meeting with newly- elected SAARC Secretary General Amjad Hussain B Sial here emphasised the need to make the eight-member grouping more proactive for progress and stability of the region. He said the SAARC Charter is a very useful document for progress and development in various sectors of member states, the Radio Pakistan reported.