The Pakistani President Highly Rates Russia's Aid In Implementing The Pakistani Space Programme

Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf highly rated the aid of Russia in fulfilling the space programme of Pakistan in connection with orbiting the second Pakistani satellite (Badr-2) by a Russian rocket-carrier. As RIA Novosti correspondent reports, the president expressed this high assessment in his message of congratulations to Pakistani scientists and engineers, which was published on Wednesday through the channels of the APP state agency. On Monday, the Russian Zenit rocket orbited five satellites from the Baikonur cosmodrome: three Russian, one Moroccan and one Pakistani. The Badr-2 is meant for telecommunications and the exploration of the atmosphere. According to the newspaper Dawn, the Badr-2 satellite weighs seventy kilogrammes and will be in orbit at the distance of about a thousand kilometres from the surface of the Earth for at least two years. It is supposed that these data will enable the Pakistani government to make precise corrections in its plans for improving irrigation and the distribution of water reserves, which is vitally important for the Pakistani agriculture that is based on irrigation farming. The newspaper Dawn says that the satellite can also be used for military purposes. In the future, Pakistan intends to orbit its own spy satellite to be able, in this way, to catch up with neighbouring India which is far ahead in space exploration also due to Russia's assistance in many respects. So far Pakistan does not have its own rocket-carrier (the first satellite was orbited for it by China), yet the programme for making such a rocket is going on at a high speed. Though this project was purely commercial for Russia, the Pakistani public, according to the local mass media, regards the launching of the satellite from Baikonur as a proof that the relations between the two countries have become warmer.

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