South Asia and Beyond

Wuhan Lab Scientists Testing Deadly Pathogens In Pakistan: Australian Editor Anthony Klan

NEW DELHI: Results of five studies conducted by Wuhan Institute of Virology and Pakistani scientists in open source scientific papers show they have been researching experiments of dangerous pathogens on Pakistani soil for at least five years, says Anthony Klan, the author of two reports on the subject. In two articles in July and August, the Editor of ‘The Klaxon’ pointed to one of the studies thanking the Wuhan National Virus Resource Centre for “providing the virus-infected Vero cells” and four of the five studies stating they were “supported” by the “International Cooperation on Key Technologies of Biosafety along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor”. Klan quoted intelligence sources as saying the plan is to “designate Pakistan a destination for hazardous bio chemical research” while “evading use of its own territory for such activities”. The ex-journalist at ‘The Australian’ quoted multiple unnamed intelligence sources as saying that China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology “lent all financial, material and scientific support” to set up the secret facility in Pakistan. “The Wuhan lab was providing “extensive training on manipulation of pathogens and bio-informatics” to Pakistani scientists “to help Pakistan develop its own virus collection database,” he alleged. The Pakistani Foreign Ministry had denied the “politically motivated and fake story” and the Chinese Embassy tweeted, calling the report “fabricated”. But Klan says the Pakistani government statement appears to confirm the existence of a deal between its military and the Wuhan lab. The ministry statement, he pointed out, admitted “a laboratory is being used for research and development on emerging health threats, surveillance and diseases outbreak investigation,” but doesn’t identify where. Though the Pakistani and Chinese statements dismiss “attempts to cast aspersions about the facility” and insist both countries “strictly” abide by the Biological Weapons Convention, the Australian investigative journalist said his “highly credible intelligence sources have concerns that Pakistan could use the technology in biowarfare, or that deadly pathogens could accidentally escape from inadequately equipped facilities.” “The Pakistan military is the one actually driving this, not so much the government, which has attempted to pull away, he said, adding, “to put it in context, why aren’t you fixing (polio or tuberculosis) as opposed to playing Frankenstein?”

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Amitabh P. Revi

Russian language speaker and conflict journalist. Amitabh Revi has been there, done that—from the battlefields of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to sublime Russia, Australia and the United States. Along the way he's picked up the Dag Hammarskjöld Distinguished Journalist Fellowship, the Ramnath Goenka award for coverage of the Iraq War and RT's Khaled Alkhateb Award for his reporting from Palmyra, Syria.