namira salim
Namira SalimTwitter/Namira Salim

Pakistan's first astronaut, Namira Salim, joined the world in lauding ISRO's attempt to soft-land the Vikram Lander on the South Pole of the Moon, a feat which no country has achieved yet.

Salim was part of the team to go to space aboard Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic.

Salim said that she congratulated the attempt and this was a 'giant leap' for South Asia in a statement to Scientia, a Karachi-based digital science magazine.  

According to India Today, she said, "I congratulate India and ISRO on its historical attempt to make a successful soft landing of the Vikram lander at the South Pole of the Moon."

"The Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission is indeed a giant leap for South Asia which not only makes the region but the entire global space industry proud."

"Regional developments in the space sector in South Asia are remarkable and no matter which nation leads - in space, all political boundaries dissolve and in space - what unites us, overrides, and divides us on Earth."

Salim is known for her advocacy of space diplomacy as mentioned in the statement above. She is Pakistan's first astronaut and has managed to scale great heights outside the world of space. She is also the first Pakistani and first woman from Monaco to reach the North Pole and the South Pole. Along with this, she was also the first Asian to skydive over the Mount Everest on October 2008.

Salim's statement is a stark contrast of the comments made by Pakistan's politicians regarding ISRO's mission Pakistan's Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Fawad Chaudhry, tweeted on Saturday morning after the supposedly failed mission, "Modi g is giving Bhashan on Sattelite communication as he is actually an astronaut and not politician, Lok Sabha shld ask him QS on wasting 900 crore Rs of a poor nation..."

He even went on to reply to other tweets saying, "Awwwww..... Jo kaam ata nai panga nai leitay na..... Dear "Endia""

And also added, "Ufff really I missed that great moment."

Indian Twitter then rebutted making fun of his inability to spell satellite correctly when he is trying to insult someone else.

Salim's statement was released when Chandrayaan-2 had lost communication with the Vikram Lander. However, on Sunday, ISRO released news that the Chandrayaan-2 spotted the Vikram Lander on the lunar surface and was just 2.1 kilometres from its designated landing spot. The orbiter also managed to capture images of the lander.