Islamabad | Pakistan, in a belated response, has termed the success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission as a “great scientific achievement” for which ISRO scientists deserved appreciation while the country's leading dailies heaped praises on India for achieving the feat on a lesser budget than rich nations.
Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch during her briefing on Friday was asked to comment on the successful soft-landing of the Chandrayaan-3 mission on the Moon.
“I can only say that it is a great scientific achievement, for which ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) scientists deserve appreciation,” she said in her brief response.
Pakistan had so far officially ignored the landmark success of India. The media, however, gave front-page coverage to the historic event on Wednesday.
The Dawn newspaper in its editorial headlined 'India's space quest' called the success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission historic.
The paper said this particular feat deserves appreciation as India achieved on a lesser budget what richer nations accomplished by spending larger sums.
Perhaps the key to the success of India's space programme, apart from sustained state support, is the quality and dedication of its engineers and scientists who helped make these difficult missions possible, it commented.
"Comparisons are indeed odious, but there may be plenty for Pakistan to learn from India's space success. Pakistan's space programme was launched before India's and managed modest success," it said.
The Express Tribune newspaper in its editorial titled 'India's lunar laurel' said India's ambitious flight actually accomplished something that the US, Soviet-Russian, and Chinese space programmes have all failed to do — land on the moon's southern pole.
Chandrayaan-3 is also the most cost-effective moon mission ever, estimated to cost between USD 75-90 million, compared to the Chandrayaan-2 mission, which cost USD 117 million. It is also much less than most summer movies — Avatar 2 cost USD 350 million, RRR cost about USD 80 million, and the new Indiana Jones movie is expected to lose over USD 100 billion, it said.
The voices that heaped praise on India included former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry who appreciated the country for the achievement.
Many Pakistanis on social media also congratulated India for the feat, while other users criticised the lacklustre performance of Pakistan in space exploration, and even some cracking jokes about its space agency called Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), set up in 1961.
In one such post, the housing society of SUPARCO was shown as among its achievements.