Pakistan-Iran Space Cooperation?
0 comments | by Fraz Naqvi
It's unlikely that China would collaborate with Pakistan in the weaponization of space to counterbalance Indo-Israeli Nexus, Pakistan needs to have collaboration with Iran for strategic reasons.
Although the Space Agreement between China and Pakistan has already been signed in 2019 yet the nature of that agreement is largely based upon the exploration and remote sensing. It is highly unlikely that China would collaborate with Pakistan in the weaponization of space to counterbalance Indo-Israeli Nexus. Under such circumstances where Indo-Israel Space Collaboration is advancing rapidly, Pakistan needs to ally with Iran for the following reasons
The militarization of Iranian Space Program.
Unlike Pakistan, Iran has accomplished major advancements in its space program. Regarding the militarization of space, Iran has already launched its first military satellite into orbit named “Noor” on April 22, 2020. The major achievement is the launch pad known as “Qassed” which has the capability of mobility. Using such technology, Pakistan would not only be able to develop its own indigenous launching capabilities but would be a major step towards the development of Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). The jointly coordinated space program would also open up the scenarios for more consolidated military cooperation and would be the major attempt to jointly conduct anti-terrorism operations. This will create the confidence-building measure (CBM) between the two states especially in the region of Baluchistan which is the major daunting point for the relations of both the states.
Halting Israel Movements in the Indian Ocean
Through collaborating with India in the space program, Israel’s ambition of marking its presence in the Indian Ocean and to curb “Islamic Fundamentalism” can be tackled through the Iranian submarines and armed speed boats. Israel’s main aim is to keep the Iranian movement in check while its presence in the Indian Ocean would benefit Indian capability of launching the strikes from submarines. By consolidating its naval bases in the Indian Ocean, Israel would also be able to exercise the extended deterrence causing much uneasiness to both Iran and Pakistan. Since Iran is the formidable naval power in the Persian Gulf and also possesses the median and mini-submarines, like Ghadir Class which is capable of launching rockets into the Indian Ocean, Pakistan can expect to gain significant leverage in terms of naval security through cooperation with Iran. This would balance the Israeli presence, in fact, the pre-emptive measure could even prevent Israel from expanding its fleet to the Indian Ocean. Eventually, Pakistan would be able to prevent Indian aggression in the Indian Ocean.
Strategic Balancers in South Asia and the Middle East
Both Pakistan and Iran are the major contenders of assuming the pivotal role in their respective regions of South Asia and the Middle East. As Pakistan acts as the balancer for Indian hegemonic designs in South Asia, likewise, Iran is the revisionist power which aims to neutralize the Israeli threat of Nuclear Weapons in the Middle East. Additionally, both Pakistan and Iran are advocating the freedom of Kashmir and Palestine in their regions which are currently under occupation by Indian Army and Israeli Defence Forces respectively. This provides the opportunity to both Pakistan and Iran to join hands in their common goal of security.