Humayun: Pakistan must develop bioweapon contingencies

Pakistani ambassador Qazi Humayun recently said that Pakistan must develop a contingency plan in case of a chemical or biological attack so the country is not taken by surprise.

Humayun made the announcement while chairing an Institute of Policy Studies session on chemical and biological weapons and their relation to Pakistan. The officials present discussed international enforcement regimes in addition to domestic safety and security mechanisms, Pakistan Today reports.

Tughral Yamin, the main speaker of the meeting and a representative of National Defense University, said that while Pakistan's armed forces have proper nuclear, biological and chemical warfare defense equipment, they are not prepared for decontamination. Yamin said that the country should take precautions to safeguard civilians through training, awareness and the provision of needed infrastructure.

The main speaker also told the audience that while the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention were meant to eliminate the dangerous weapons, many countries may be continuing some production of the weapons on a small scale. Such weapons could cause immediate damage and persistent damage that would last for years and generations.

Other topics discussed at the meeting included the possibility of radioactive contamination in Afghanistan, the use of genetic engineering by pharmaceutical and food companies, and the poisoning of wells and water reservoirs, Pakistan Today reports.