Pakistan rubbishes reports of Chinese lab creating ‘anthrax-like pathogens’ in Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD : Pakistan on Sunday rejected reports of China’s Wuhan lab operating “covert operations” in Pakistan and creating “anthrax-like pathogens” as a politically motivated and fake story.

The Foreign Office, in a statement on Sunday, said the story was composed of distortion of facts and fabrications that quote anonymous sources.

“There is nothing secret about the Bio-Safety Level-3 (BSL-3) Laboratory of Pakistan referred to in the report. Pakistan has been sharing information about the facility with the States Parties to the Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention (BTWC) in its submission of Confidence Building Measures,” the Foreign Office said.

It added that Pakistan’s bio safety lab is meant for diagnostic and protective system improvement by Research and Development (R&D) on emerging health threats, surveillance and disease outbreak investigation.

“Pakistan strictly abides by its BTWC obligations and has been one of the most vocal supporters for a strong verification mechanism to ensure full compliance by the States Parties to the Convention,” the Foreign Office noted

“The attempt to cast aspersions about the facility is particularly absurd against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has highlighted the need for better preparedness in the areas of disease surveillance and control and international collaborations in that regard, consistent with Article X of BTWC,” it added.

Earlier this week, a report titled “China’s Wuhan lab operating ‘covert operations’ in Pakistan, creating ‘anthrax-like’ pathogens” in The Klaxon, an online magazine, had claimed China’s Wuhan lab has set up operations in Pakistan as part of a broader offensive against India and Western rivals.

According to the report, the secret facility was allegedly making anthrax-like pathogens which could be used in biological warfare.

The report while citing “highly credible intelligence sources” had claimed the programme was being entirely funded by China.