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- Monday, August 08, 2011 - From Print Edition


BEIJING: Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khan has said that it is our natural aspiration that a Pakistani astronaut aboard a Chinese spacecraft flies to the space. “This is possible because Pakistan and China enjoy relations of trust and confidence,” Ambassador Khan said in an interview to mark launch of Paksat-1R.


The Pakistan Communication Satellite Paksat-1R is due to be launched in space from Chinese satellite launching site located at Xichang city in the second week of August, depending on weather conditions.


Paksat-1R will replace Paksat-1, which is going to complete its useful life in 2011. “Launching of a communication satellite is going to be a new symbolic development in Pakistan-China relations, as this will broaden the horizons of our cooperation,” Khan said.


He said during Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Pakistan in December last year, our two governments had decided to deepen cooperation in space science and technology. “Paksat-1R, as the satellite is called, is a big step in that direction. It will revolutionize the use of broadband Internet, digital television broadcasting and mobile telephony; spur our economy; and strengthen the education and health sectors. It will also help us with disaster preparedness and response.


Besides, young scientists and engineers are gaining new valuable expertise in the area of satellite technology. Such cooperation with China also helps us move towards self-reliance,” he noted.