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China, Pakistan secretly working on virus deadlier than COVID-19 at Pak lab: Report

Zaini Majeed 3-4 minutes 11/6/2022

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Pakistan's Foreign Office, in a statement, said that “there is nothing secret" about Bio-Safety Level-3 (BSL-3) Laboratory of Pakistan, referred to in reports.


Image: AP

Pakistan and China have been continuing their research into bioweapons in a secret facility near Rawalpindi, a new report by ANI stated on Sunday, November 6. China's Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Pakistan Army-run, Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), have installed the highly-advanced scientific infrastructure to conduct research on the deadly pathogens in Pakistan, sources told the agency. The exact location of the facility, although, was not disclosed as it remains a tightly guarded secret, according to Geo-Politik. The secret project under which Pakistan and China have been researching the pathogens is titled: Collaboration for Emerging Infectious Diseases and Studies on Biological Control of Vector Transmitting Diseases. 

Pathogens with contamination on scale higher than COVID-19

China has been researching coronavirus-like pathogens in Pakistan. Such viruses have the potential of public contamination on a scale far higher than COVID-19, which is still prevalent, if leaked. In 2020, Pakistan did not refute the reports or clarified whether China had the Biolabs set up in Islamabad. Pakistan's Foreign Office, in a statement, said that “there is nothing secret about the Bio-Safety Level-3 (BSL-3) Laboratory of Pakistan referred to in the report." All States Parties were aware of the aforementioned Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention (BTWC) in its submission of Confidence Building Measures, the FO further noted in its statement.

Pakistan justified the deadly pathogen research, indicating that it is for the purpose of diagnostic and protective system improvement through Research and Development on emerging health threats, surveillance, and disease outbreak investigation. According to Geo-Politik, the said bioweapon laboratory of Pakistan is a “Biosafety Level 4” facility (BSL-4) where the most dangerous and infective agents are tested and developed. The DSTO is located in Chaklala cantonment, Rawalpindi, and is headed by a two-star General, the report stated. China outsourced a highly contagious network of laboratories to Pakistan where highly contagious antigens, much more than the SARS-CoV-2, could be created and tested. "The joint collaboration between Pakistan’s lab, managed by the army, and a series of laboratories and institutions run by PLA, was not for scientific experiments but to weaponise pathogens," the report further suggested.