Sohail Aman, chief of the air staff, has recently announced that Pakistan, with assistance from China, will plan to send astronauts into space within the next two years.

Pakistani Astronauts
By Andy Morataya, Staff Photographer at Pentagon (http://www.afdw.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123460347) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The AirTech’17 Keynote Address

In a statement as chief guest at the inauguration session of the AirTech’17 conference — Pakistan’s largest scientific Olympiad held at Air University — Aman revealed this news. His speech was a keynote address on “Leadership, Education, and Society Development,” with an aim to support and encourage Pakistani university students.

Aman believes that the purpose of the education system is to introduce new technologies that better the world and contribute something to society, urging cooperation between industry and academia. The launch of Pakistani astronauts into space is a prime example of a cooperation between two countries, adding yet another agency into the collaborative field of space research.

In his speech, he insisted that successes such as this are hard gained, saying that “No doubt Pakistani students are talented, intelligent and hard-working, but to achieve success in life goals, unconditional faith, firm commitment and tireless struggle are essential.” In order to further advance scientific and technological innovation in Pakistan, Universities need to focus on training students in practical and beneficial skills.

In a response to a question, Sohail Aman stated that the country is currently working to manufacture cutting-edge aircraft with the support of Chinese aviation experts. “In addition, China is also providing technical support to Pakistan for launching a satellite program.”

Pakistan’s aviation industry is already advanced, with the country manufacturing 16 to 20 JF-17 aircrafts annually. This new technology will be unprecedented for the nation, however, and will make the dream of Pakistani astronauts a reality.

As he continued his address, Aman emphasized the importance of national security, stating that Pakistan is close to curbing terrorism. Only through security, stability, and prosperity could scientific innovation continue to flourish. As the country returns to normalcy and attempts to correct the damage of radicalism, the achievements of bright young minds can finally shine through.

The Significance Of Scientific Support

VC Faaiz Amir highlighted the need for programs such as the AirTech’17 conference. As a fair and competitive platform, young students use their intellect and hard work to design, build, and present unique solutions and perform innovative tasks. The scope of the conference is large, with topics related to robotics, artificial technologies, and other emerging technologies also a subject of discussion. The event was a large affair, attracting a large number of students, academics, and industry professionals.

While Sohail Aman’s speech was intended to motivate and praise Pakistan’s brightest students, perhaps the biggest takeaway is the incredible feat of bringing astronauts into space. With only the most technologically advanced countries hosting a space program, innovation in Pakistan may contribute to its standing as promising hub for technological talent.

While the launch of two Pakistani astronauts isn’t groundbreaking worldwide, it’s a significant achievement for a country that has struggled with unrest in recent years. With many parts of the middle east dealing with the threat of terrorism, the fact that scientific advancements continue to pop up is a testament to the region’s resilience in the face of adversity.

At the end of the day, taking astronauts to space may be the start of a streak of advancement for Pakistan. AirTech’17 is the celebration of talented young students, and is an important part of recognizing the next generation of innovators that will continue to drive the country forward. As Aman stated in his keynote address, “Without practicing good values, there is no purpose of any kind of success.” Nurturing up-and-coming professionals, both intellectually and in terms of moral character, may soon see the country of Pakistan rise as a formidable presence in technological and scientific progress.