|Pakistan Postage Stamp|
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Pakistan Conducting Research in Antarctica
Pakistan's National Institute of Oceanography, based in Karachi, is operating a summer-only Jinnah Arctic Station in Antarctica first established in 1991 when Pakistan Navy hoisted the Pakistani flag there. The Jinnah Station was formally commissioned on Friday the 25th January, 1991 and the scientific observations commenced.
According to Waponline, the Jinnah Station consists of three laboratories in pre-fabricated huts, three pre-fabricated Igloos manufactured in Pakistan for accommodation of 9 persons and four tents for miscellaneous needs. It also includes a sophisticated unmanned weather station from which weather data is now being received in Pakistan via satellite .This makes Pakistan the first among the Muslim nations and the second nation in South Asia (after India) to be poised for full membership of the Antarctic Treaty System. Establishing research presence in Antarctica is seen as important by nations of the world because of its value in understanding global climate change and its potential for tremendous resources including oil and other mineral deposits. It is also important for Pakistan because India is alleged to have trained its soldiers there for occupation of Siachen in Kashmir. This allegation, if true, would be a violation of the treaty prohibiting military use of the continent. The Antarctic Treaty of 1959 sets aside the entire continent for peaceful scientific use only. Here's the mission statement of NIO Pakistan: “The National Institute of Oceanography is located in Karachi. It was established in 1981 by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Pakistan. The main area of research of the Institute is the north Arabian Sea and beyond. The oceanic and atmospheric processes of the north Arabian Sea modify our climate, offer numerous living and non-living resources, Oceanographic research brings together all the scientific disciplines needed to study the ocean.“ To learn more about various Antarctic stations set up by different nations of the world, please visit here. Click here to see the world map highlighting nations with bases in Antarctica. Acknowledgment: The inspiration for this post came from a post on Moin Ansari's blog.