Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry paid a rich tribute to Pakistan’s first Nobel Laureate Dr Abdus Salam by saying that he was a “visionary” who launched Pakistan’s space programme when China and India hadn’t even started.
Addressing at the convocation of Capital University for Science and Technology (CUST) at the Convention Centre, the minister said, “When we started our space program and established SUPARCO in 1962 under the patronage of a great scientist like Dr Abdus Salam, a visionary, China and India had not even thought about the idea.”
“We [Pakistan] are the second country in Asia, after USSR, to launch our rocket, Rehbar, into space in 1963. Our space program is one of the most modern space programs in the world,” Fawad revealed.
“And now when we talk about sending our mission to space in 2022, people are shocked and are unable to believe it,” the minister added.
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The minister also shared that work on introducing agriculture drone to enhance crops production was in progress.
He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was focusing on the development of the science and technology sector and that the budget of it was increased 600 times in the last eight months. He added that the government intends to further increase the budget up to 1500 times through public-private partnerships.
Fawad regretted that the science and technology sector was not given its due importance in the past because of which there was a lack of progress in this field.
Pakistan lost its focus on development after involvement in the Afghan war, Fawad said.