Humayun: Pakistan needs bioweapon contingency plan

Pakistani Ambassador Qazi Humayun spoke this week as part of a session at the Institute of Policy Studies on chemical and biological weapon preparedness in Pakistan.

Humayun, who chaired the event, said that Pakistan needs its own contingency plan to deal with potential chemical and biological attacks, SANA reports.

"Despite of international conventions prohibiting the development and use of chemical-biological weapons, Pakistan needs to develop a contingency plan, especially considering the vulnerable civilian population, so that it is not taken by surprise in case of a CBW attack," Humayun said, according to SANA.

A group of government officials, diplomats, academics, security experts, scientists and students of nuclear sciences and defense studies attended the session.

Humayun said that weaknesses exist in the international conventions on chemical and biological weapons. He said that the conventions cannot stop a country if it begins making biological and chemical weapons without declaring them.

The chairman of the event said that while Pakistan strictly abides by the international conventions, the country must continue to enhance its safety measures for such threats.

Tughral Yamin, the main speaker at the event and a researcher from National Defense University, said that the country has a limited ability to decontaminate biological and chemical weapons. To protect Pakistan's people, Yamin said the country must improve its training, awareness and provision of necessary infrastructure.

"The first respondents like civil defense, police, fire brigade and medics must have proper understanding of the threat and training to react properly," Yamin said, according to SANA.