China’s Wuhan lab operating “covert operations” in Pakistan under a secret deal

Intelligence sources have revealed that Pakistan and China have entered a secret three-year deal to expand potential bio-warfare capabilities, including running several research projects related to the deadly agent anthrax.
China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology has signed the covert deal with Pakistan military’s Defense Science and Technology Organization (DESTO), to collaborate research in “emerging infectious diseases” and advance studies on the biological control of transmitted diseases in the wake of coronavirus, said highly credible intelligence sources.
The program, sources have said, is being entirely funded by China and is formally titled the “Collaboration for Emerging Infectious Diseases and Studies on Biological Control of Vector Transmitting Diseases”.
Intelligence sources, including sources from India, said they have serious concerns about the secret project, which involves China testing biological agents outside its borders in a bid to minimize the “risk of drawing condemnation from the international community”.
“DESTO has been engaged in various dual-use research projects related to anthrax under a covert biological weapons program,” one senior intelligence source said.
The source said China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology had “lent all financial, material and scientific support for the project”.
After it was found that coronavirus spread from a wet-market in Wuhan, speculations arose that the disease may have emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, however most experts have since discounted the theory.
The covert China-Pakistan project has conducted “successful soil sampling tests” to isolate Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT), which has a “striking similarity” to Bacillus Anthracis – or anthrax.
“Considering the striking similarity between BT and Bacillus Anthracis, a classified bio-warfare agent, (Pakistan’s) improved know-how in handling the bacteria could enrich a potential offensive biological program,” one source said.
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”.
“This could help Pakistan enhance its capability of genetic identification of viruses, access to dangerous microorganisms, and use of genomic tools for research and infectious diseases,” an intelligence source said.
One security expert has said that India and key western intelligence agencies viewed China’s involvement in the project as being “driven chiefly by its agenda to engage Pakistan against India”.
The plan was part of a move by Beijing to “designate Pakistan a destination for hazardous bio chemical research” while “evading use of its own territory for such activities”, which “stand the risk of drawing criticism and condemnation from the international community”.
One example was a proposal to test a Coronavirus vaccine, made by Chinese state-owned company Sinopharm, on Pakistani citizens.
The China-Pakistan biological project had already undertaken experiments on the Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus (CCHFV), sources said.
CCHFV is a rapid-onset fever virus that causes death in about 25% of cases and is similar to the Ebola virus. CCHFV is categorized as a “class-4” microorganism – the highest possible risk category. Pakistan is allegedly carrying out tests on CCHFV in laboratories which are not equipped to handle Bio-Safety Level-4 diseases.
“Under these circumstances, concerns over manipulation of class 4 pathogens (and the associated) bio-safety issues cannot be overlooked,” an intelligence expert asserted.
The threat of biological warfare has grown considerably in recent years, and experts have warned China is heavily involved in DNA research that could potentially enable a biological weapon to specifically target people of specific races.
While theories of Coronavirus emerging from the Wuhan Institute of Virology have been largely dismissed by experts, serious concerns have been raised about the safety standards at the Wuhan lab more generally. In particular, there are concerns that the lab is not equipped to handle class-4 diseases, despite its clams.