India set to launch satellite for SAARC countries, Pakistan says no thanks

India’s space agency is set to launch a satellite Friday to provide communications services to its neighboring countries in South Asia. The South Asia satellite, funded entirely by India, was announced several years ago with the intention of serving all eight members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), reports CNN.

According to Uday Bhaskar, director of Delhi-based think tank the Society for Policy Studies, the satellite represents a “new form of regional cooperation,” and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called it a “gift to the SAARC region.”

The more than $36 million project does not, however, involve Pakistan, which pulled out of the project.

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