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Pakistan dismisses ‘politically motivated story’ on covert operations by China’s Wuhan lab

FO says attempt to cast aspersions about the BSL-3 lab is particularly absurd against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: File

Pakistan on Sunday dismissed a “politically motivated and fake story” regarding China’s Wuhan lab conducting alleged covert operations in the country.

“It is a politically motivated and fake story, composed of distortion of facts and fabrications that quote anonymous sources,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said in a statement.

The FO spokesperson explained that there was “nothing secret” about the Bio-Safety Level-3 (BSL-3) laboratory referred in the report. She added that 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 facility is meant for diagnostic and protective system improvement by Research and Development on emerging health threats, surveillance and disease outbreak investigation,” clarified Farooqui.

The spokesperson reiterated that Pakistan “strictly abides” by its BTWC commitments and has been “one of the most vocal supporters” for a strong verification mechanism to ensure full compliance by states complying with the convention.

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

In a statement later in the day, the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan also issued a statement, saying it “strongly opposes fabricated story on China-Pakistan joint research on Biological weapon”.

“It is totally irresponsible, vicious-intentioned to smear China and Sino-Pak relations,” the Chinese Embassy said on Twitter.

“As a responsible nation, China always lives up to its obligations to BWC,” it added.

The Klaxon, an Australian publication, had published an “investigative” piece on July 23, alleging that China’s Wuhan Lab was running secret operations in Pakistan under a covert deal with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DESTO).

The story claimed that ‘anthrax-like pathogens’ are being developed as potential biological warfare. The reported was based on “intelligence sources”. 

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