When Worlds Collide #111: Science Journalism for Better Governance

When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today newspaper on 13 June 2014

Indo Pak Nuclear rivalry seen by Himal Southasian magazine Indo Pak Nuclear rivalry seen by Himal Southasian magazine

Years ago, as a young science journalist working for Asia Technology magazine of Hong Kong, I was shown around Pakistan’s space agency SUPARCO premises in Karachi. At the time, in early 1990, they were readying the country’s first satellite, Badr 1 (launched later that year on a Chinese rocket).

It was a national showpiece, and no one involved would talk about specifics like costs, benefits and long term research and development (R&D) plans. Although Benazir Bhutto had returned Pakistan to civilian rule, no critical questions could be asked about the country’s nuclear or space programmes.

A few years later, I happened to be in Mumbai when India carried out its second nuclear weapons testing in Pokhran mid May 1998. This ultimate chest thumping act inspired…

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