13:34 GMT16 May 2021
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    The two countries signed a joint statement on Wednesday only a month after Pakistan accused India of weaponising space, as Indian defence scientists successfully destroyed a target satellite 186 miles above the Earth’s surface on 26 March.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): A month after Islamabad expressed concern over India's anti-satellite missile test, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday signed a joint statement on no-first placement of weapons in outer space, on the side-lines of the SCO foreign ministers' meet in Bishkek.

    The two countries have agreed to "make all possible efforts to prevent Outer Space from becoming an arena for military confrontation and to ensure security in Outer Space activities".

    A Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Interceptor takes off to hit one of India's satellites in the first such test, from the Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Island, in the eastern state of Odisha, India, March 27, 2019
    © REUTERS / India's Press Information Bureau
    The development came against the backdrop of recent anti-satellite tests conducted by India, which Pakistan considers "a matter of grave concern" and "it would also be amiss to ignore the military dimension of such actions and its implications on the global and regional peace, stability and security".

    READ MORE: Analysts Fear Tensions in Space After India Tests Anti-Satellite Missile

    "The use of force against space-based objects, the development and deployment of Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) systems and their integration into space assets have added worrying dimensions to the issues relating to Outer Space", the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said, while obliquely indicating the anti-satellite test that brought India's sophistication in the realm of ballistic missile defence up a notch.

    Russia and Pakistan have agreed to take an urgent step to address gaps in the international legal regime that governs the exploration and use of outer space to ensure peaceful activities and applications of space technologies only for socio-economic development.

    The state-funded Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on 27 March claimed that an indigenously developed ballistic missile defence (BMD) interceptor missile had successfully engaged an Indian target satellite in low earth orbit in "Hit to Kill" mode. The interceptor missile was a three-stage missile with two solid rocket boosters. India claimed that the test was aimed at defending its assets in outer space.


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    no-first-strike, outer space, anti-satellite missiles, weapons, India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Sergei Lavrov, India, Russia, Pakistan
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