• Friday, May 24, 2024

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After mocking, former Pakistan minister praises India’s Chandrayaan-3: ‘Historic moment for humankind’

India will be the fourth and the first nation from south Asia if it succeeds in achieving a soft landing on the moon.

Students wave India’s national flag as they gather in support of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft in Mumbai, India, on August 22, 2023. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

PAKISTAN’S former minister for science and technology Fawad Hussain Chaudhry, who mocked India’s Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in the past over the failure of the Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission and reportedly criticised the Chandrayaan-3 mission which was launched in July, has now taken a U-turn to praise the current mission, calling it a “historic moment for humankind”.

A former leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by former prime minister Imran Khan, Chaudhry praise for Chandrayaan-3 came on the eve of the mission touching the moon’s surface and he also urged his country to broadcast Chandrayaan-3’s landing on the natural satellite on Wednesday (23) evening.

“Pak media should show #Chandrayan moon landing live tomorrow at 6:15 PM… historic moment for Human kind specially for the people, scientists and Space community of India…. Many Congratulations,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Only three countries till now have succeeded in achieving soft landings on the moon — the US, former Soviet Union and China. India, if successful, will be the fourth and the first from south Asia.

While Chaudhry congratulated India’s space and science community on July 14 when Chandrayaan-3 was launched, a video also went viral showing the former Pakistan minister questioning the moon mission remarking when it can already be seen, what was the point in going there?

Chaudhry had also slammed ISRO in 2019 when the Chandrayaan-2 mission failed and questioned the Narendra Modi government on spending massive amounts on the mission saying it was “not wise to venture into an unknown territory”.

He also used the hashtag ‘India Failed’ on a X post after the mission failed in the concluding phase when Vikram Lander lost communication with the ground.

Chaudhry, who served as the minister for science and technology between 2019 and 2021, parted ways with Khan’s PTI in May after the party supporters staged violent protests across Pakistan over the arrest of the former prime minister and announced retirement from active politics.

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