The attempt to cast aspersions about the facility is particularly absurd against the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic: FO
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday rejected reports of China's Wuhan lab conducting “covert operations” in the country and creating "anthrax-like pathogens" as a politically-motivated and fake story.
The Foreign Office 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," it said in a statement.
"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 added.
It noted 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,” it said.
“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.
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 [a] totally irresponsible, vicious-intentioned [story] 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.
Earlier this week, a report titled "China's Wuhan lab operating ‘covert operations’ in Pakistan, creating ‘anthrax-like’ pathogens" in an online magazine calledThe Klaxonhad claimed China’s Wuhan lab had 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. Citing “highly credible intelligence sources”, it had further claimed the programme was being entirely funded by China.