Pak Senator urges UN to probe if COVID-19 is man-made

Islamabad: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Rehman Malik has urged the UN to form a high-powered commission to probe if the COVID-19 was a man-made or a naturally grown virus and also to locate its origin, a media report said on Saturday.

In a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Malik, also a former Interior Minister, said the proposed commission on COVID-19 under the UN Convention on Biological Weapons, 1975 might comprise virologists, scientists, professors, researchers, analysts and experts in the fields of microbiology, reports Dawn news.

Making the letter public at a press conference through a video link, Malik on Friday said the commission should present its report to Guterres in three months, and its ‘terms of reference’ (ToR) should include recommendations to prevent future breakouts of such viruses, and international standards for coordination in case of a breakout.

For the proposed UN commission, Malik in his letter has proposed seven ToRs.

These include accurate identification of the geo-location of the COVID-19’s origin; identification of areas with zero patient; discovery as to why the behaviour, intensity and fertility rate of COVID-19 varies from country to country; investigation whether COVID-19 is a man-made or naturally-grown virus and examination of the allegations of transportation of the virus from one place to other destinations in the world, as a ‘biological warfare tactics’.

He said the deadly coronavirus pandemic had stirred up the worst global crisis since World War II.

Malik asserted that he was not blaming any government or a group or levelling any allegation or endorsing any media report about the origin of the disease, said the Dawn news report.

Pakistan has so far recorded 2,696 coronavirus cases with 40 deaths.

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