Pakistani researchers are keen to revive scientific exploration in the Antarctic region. Officials have expressed a desire to revitalize expeditions in Antarctica by Pakistani scientists in collaboration with friendly countries.
During 1991 and 1993, Pakistan established two scientific research stations: Jinnah Antarctic Station I and II (WAP PAK-NEW), and an automatic weather station called Iqbal Observatory on Sor Rondane Mountain. This achievement earned Pakistan the associate membership of Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) in 1992. More recently, Pakistani scientists have also participated in Chinese expeditions in Antarctica.
Pakistan’s Antarctic Program started nearly three decades back after the country sent its first expedition to the South Pole, backed by the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) that was established in 1981 by the Ministry of Science and Technology. In the early 1990s,.
No independent expedition was sent by Pakistan after 1993 reportedly due to lack of funds and the government’s attention. “Scientific research in Antarctica is a future investment for any government that offers manifold opportunities and benefits technologically, economically and even diplomatically” explained Dr Hina Saeed Baig, Director General of NIO. “Pakistan’s Antarctic Programme is more than just a national achievement as it offers long-term benefits, elevates the country’s status and helps improve local expertise and technology.”
Jinnah Antarctic Station (JAS) – (WAP PAK-NEW) is an Antarctic scientific research Station operated by the Pakistan -Antarctic Programme. Pakistan signed the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) in 1991.
Location: Sør Rondane Mountains, Queen Maud Land, in Eastern Antarctica
Established: 1991 Launch: National Institute of Oceanography
Led: Pakistan Navy Support: Ministry of Science & Technology
2001: Data operational system was linked to the Badr-B satellite
2002: SUPARCO scientists installed supercomputer-equipped Facility
2005: Pakistan Air Force engineers and scientists built a small airstrip and a control room to monitor Flights to and From Pakistan
2010: Pakistan’s government approved a plan to expand the JAS Facility into a permanent operational Base
Hope one day some Pakistani Ham radio will performing HF activity from there!