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Is Pakistan the next target for Coronavirus?

A look at the recent developments in the outbreak of Coronavirus in various parts of the world reveals some new theories about the origin and spread of the virus. The deadly animal-borne coronavirus spreading globally may have originated in a laboratory in the city of Wuhan linked to China’s covert biological weapons program.

The disease first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, and now called COVID-19, continues to spread, primarily in China but cases have also appeared in some two dozen other countries. Severe acute respiratory syndrome, known as SARS, was another coronavirus outbreak that came from China. It was believed that the SARS strain came from bats before spreading to other wild animals that were consumed by humans.

Where it came from?

There is a conspiracy theory that is running around very fast which portrays this Coronavirus which began in Wuhan may be linked to two laboratories of the Chinese bio-warfare program. This story is making the news and appears to have gathered quite a few evidences that suggest that it may not be a mere coincidence.

In the weekly medical journal The Lancet, a large group of Chinese researchers from a variety of institutions has published their findings.

Their paper focuses on the first 41 patients hospitalized with coronavirus. The earliest person fell ill on December 1, 2019, and “had no reported link to the seafood market”. The researchers wrote: “No epidemiological link was found between the first patient and later cases.” There was no mention of the seafood market as the source even though most cases were linked to it, and there was frequent reference to the fact there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

Professor Lucey told ScienceInsider: “China must have realized the epidemic did not originate in that Wuhan Huanan seafood market.”

Coincidentally, the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory is located only 20 miles away from the Huanan Seafood Market which is the epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak dubbed the Wuhan Coronavirus.

So how did the virus get there?

The virus was reportedly stolen from a Canadian lab by Chinese Biowarfare agents and smuggled to none other than the Wuhan Institute of Virology where the virus is believed to be weaponized and leaked. The laboratory is the only declared site in China that is capable of working with deadly viruses.

The event caused a major scandal with Bio-warfare experts questioning why Canada was sending lethal viruses to China? Scientists from National Microbiology Laboratory said the highly lethal viruses were a potential bio-weapon. The NML is Canada’s only level-4 facility and one of only a few in North America equipped to handle the world’s deadliest diseases, including Ebola, SARS, Coronavirus, etc.

The Wuhan institute has studied coronaviruses in the past; including the strain that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.

Dany Shoham, a former Israeli military intelligence officer who has studied Chinese biological warfare, said the institute (Wuhan Institute of Virology) is linked to Beijing’s covert bio-weapons program. “Certain laboratories in the institute have probably been engaged, in terms of research and development, in Chinese [biological weapons], at least collaterally, yet not as a principal facility of the Chinese BW alignment,” Mr. Shoham told The Washington Times.

Chinese military interest

China’s Biological Warfare Program is believed to include the full range of traditional chemical & biological agents with a wide variety of delivery systems including artillery rockets, aerial bombs, sprayers, and short-range ballistic missiles. Reports reveal that there are more than 40 Chinese facilities involved in bio-weapon production.

China’s national strategy of military-civil fusion has highlighted biology as a priority, and the People’s Liberation Army could be at the forefront of expanding and exploiting this knowledge.

In 2016, the potential strategic value of genetic information led the Chinese government to launch the National Genebank, which intends to become the world’s largest repository of such data. It aims to “develop and utilize China’s valuable genetic resources, safeguard national security in bioinformatics, and enhance China’s capability to seize the strategic commanding heights” in the domain of Biotechnology Warfare.

Chinese military’s interest in biology as an emerging domain of warfare is guided by strategists who talk about potential “genetic weapons” and the possibility of a “bloodless victory.”

But surely, China realizes that it cannot afford to be in the news for all the wrong reasons. A deadly virus claiming hundreds of lives is a reason for grave concern and a matter of international condemnation. Hence it may be soon in need of more testbeds to carry out these trials without coming under the global radar.

Viewpoint

Pakistan: a potential testbed

One of the abiding mentor-protégé relationships in recent history, of nearly 60 years’ vintage, notwithstanding differing ideologies, is easily the one existing between China and Pakistan.

As China assists Pakistan acquire nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, while also helping it build nuclear reactors to produce weapons-grade plutonium, China plans to invest US $46 billion in Pakistan in the coming years. A total of 51 agreements covering a vast canvas in defence and security aspects, power generation, trade, banking and communications were signed during the Chinese President’s visit, adding in the joint statement phrases like “shared destiny” and “perpetual continuity in Pakistan-China friendship from generation to generation”.

China’s generous military aid, comprising nuclear weapons, strategic missiles and modern weaponry for its client state, Pakistan has certainly blinded Pakistan to all possible threats it is getting exposed to.

From what can be seen as a habit of domination by the Chinese, it is clear that China’s stranglehold over cash-strapped Pakistan in the coming years will lead to the latter’s subjugation to China’s long term objectives. It may be seen as a possibility where China may try to establish such laboratories on Pakistani soil and make them pay their debt by sacrificing innocent citizens on the pretext of Biological warfare only to fulfill its dream of global domination.

18 Feb 20/Tuesday                                                             Written By : Saima Ibrahim

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