APROPOS Dr Parvez Hoodbhoy’s article ‘Sending Pakistan to Mars’ (Oct 18), not many Pakistanis know that Pakistan began the space race in the sub-continent by launching two rockets into space in 1962. Until then, only nine countries (which included Israel but not India) had been able to launch rockets into space.

Unfortunately, our successive governments did not pay much attention to our space programme and India was able to steam ahead of us. In fact, even Iran sent a monkey into space a couple of years ago.
It will be many years before Pakistan is able to do this, despite having launched two experimental satellites in 1990 and 2001.
For Pakistan to make further progress in space technology, the first thing that needs to be done is to replace our outdated locally-produced science text books with imported ones. We can then hire Pakistani teachers from English-speaking countries to train the new generation in physics, mathematics and allied subjects.
Shakir Lakhani
Printed in DAWN, October 23, 2014