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Presentation on theme: "PAKISTAN'S NATIONAL EFFORTS TO MITIGATE BIOLOGICAL THREATS"— Presentation transcript:

Dr. Riaz Hussain Qamar Islamic Republic of Pakistan


Aim Biological Weapons/Bio-Terrorism BTWC Process Biological Threats Pakistan’s Efforts to Mitigate BW Threats Conclusions

4 AIM To provide an overview of International Concerns and Responses to Biological Threats, and Pakistan’s approach to meet its ensuing Global Obligations.

BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS: Any infectious agent such as Bacteria or Virus when used intentionally to inflict harm upon others. This definition is often expanded to include Biologically-Derived Toxins and Poisons. BIO-TERRORISM: The use of living agents, such as a man made or naturally occurring pathogens, to attack people, animals, and plants.

History of BW Dates back to centuries 2001 – US ANTHRAX OUTBREAK A letter containing anthrax was received by Tom Daschle, the leader of the United States Senate. 23 members of his staff and 5 police officers tested positive with nasal swabs. Citizens begin stockpiling Ciprofloxacin.

BW Agents are naturally present in the environment. No Major Infrastructure and Manpower required. May be easier, faster to produce and more cost-effective than other WMDs also known as Poor man’s Atomic Bomb. Potential for dissemination over large geographic area.

8 Difficult to Diagnose and/or Treat, high Morbidity and Mortality.
…..POTENTIAL THREATS OF BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS Difficult to Diagnose and/or Treat, high Morbidity and Mortality. Person-to-Person Transmission possible (smallpox, plague, and viral hemorrhagic fever). Create panic, also called weapons of Mass Disruption.

Although, BWs have been used off and on since centuries but the number of casualties are negligible as compared to other WMDs. Reliable Early Detection Devices/Equipment for Surveillance /Detection /Identification are very expensive and not available with many states. Requisite Infrastructure and trained Manpower is also deficient in many countries.

Planning of an effective Biological Warfare Defence is one of the most difficult task for any Nation and its Scientific Community. International Cooperation and Transfer of Technology are the areas, that require attention and will compliment and support National Actions for a reliable Defence Against Biological Weapons.


12 BTWC - IMPLEMENTATION Although the BTWC-1972, has been in force for several decades and has considerable international formal support but: It is widely accepted that the BTWC is still too weak institutionally and its implementation is not very effective in the absence of a Verification System. Whereas, CWC is extremely intrusive in nature and contains a comprehensive “Verification Regime” including Challenge Inspection.

13 BIOLOGICAL THREATS By Terrorists and Non-State Actors
Misuse of Dual Use Technologies Theft from any Lab/Institute Local & Foreign Religious Extremists Locally hired Agents Any Frustrated Cult


All States Parties are required to fulfill International Obligations according to BTWC/ UN Security Council’s Resolution such as: BTWC Act Designation of Focal Point Central Implementation Authority Appropriate Bio-Safety & Bio-Security Measures Code of Conduct for Scientists, and Awareness Raising

16 Submission of BTWC CBMs on Annual Basis
…..BTWC-OBLIGATIONS OF STATES PARTIES Submission of BTWC CBMs on Annual Basis Enhancement of level of national preparedness for disease surveillance in humans, animals and plants Universalization of BTWC by influencing friendly Non-Signatory States Inclusion of salient features of 1925 Geneva Protocol, BTWC and other obligations in educational programme



19 PAKISTAN Population: 170 million Capital: Islamabad
Area: 796,095 sq km (307,374 sq miles), excluding Pakistani-administered Kashmir (83,716 sq km/32,323 sq miles) Major Languages: English, Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi Major Religion: Islam

20 PAKISTAN’S APPROACH Pakistan is on the front line of “War on Terror” and being targeted by terrorist activities. Pakistan has been suffering a huge Financial and Human loss due to these terrorist activities. Pakistan is fully concerned about use of any Biological Weapons/Act of Bio-Terrorism, and is doing its best to counter these emerging threats by observing Stringent Bio-Safety & Bio-Security Measures by utilizing all available resources.

21 …..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH Pakistan, as a BTWC State Party since 1972, as a Non-Possessor State, has been abiding by all the provisions of the BTWC. We never developed, produced, acquired or stockpiled Biological Weapons or their means of delivery. In fact, Biological Weapons had never been a part of our Security Matrix.

22 …..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH Our Extensive National Report to the UN Security Council’s 1540 Committee, provided a detailed Matrix of Information on existing Legislation and their enforcement to deal with threat of the use of Biological & Toxin Weapons.

23 Administrative Measures Legislation
…..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH Pakistan has made tremendous progress in the implementation of our existing Legislation, formulation of new laws, where required, and adoption of very effective administrative steps for the Mitigation of Biological Threats by: Administrative Measures Legislation

…..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH ADMINISTRATIVE MEASURES Designation of National Point of Contact for BTWC matters Establishment of Inter-Agency Working Group (Task Force) Education and Awareness Raising for Implementation of BTWC Oversight of Biological Research and Related Activities Code of Conduct Establishment of National Core Group of Life Sciences (NCGLS) Pakistan Biological Safety Association (PBSA) Mechanism for Preparedness for Disease Surveillance

25 a. National Point of Contact for BTWC Matters
…..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH a. National Point of Contact for BTWC Matters Established at Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DG Dsmt-P MFA) to deal with day to day activities of BTWC. Regular meetings of all Stakeholders are being arranged to coordinate matters pertaining to BTWC implementation. Our activities are gradually expanding to include private sector organizations, academic institutions, industries and other relevant private sector entities.

26 b. Inter-Agency Working Group (Task Force)
…..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH b. Inter-Agency Working Group (Task Force) A Task Force with representatives of all concerned Ministries and Organizations has been established under the National Focal Point for BTWC related issues, to promote awareness regarding Biosafety, Biosecurity and Non-proliferation of Biological Threats.

27 c. Education and Awareness Raising for Implementation of BTWC
…..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH c. Education and Awareness Raising for Implementation of BTWC Awareness Raising Programmes regarding BW Threats have been initiated at all levels through organizing Seminars/Conferences/Workshops related to Lab Biosafety & Lab Biosecurity. A series of Seminars/Conferences/Workshops have been arranged during the last two years to create awareness amongst Researchers, Academia and Law Enforcement Agencies.

28 …..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH Many personnel have also participated in International Seminars /Conferences/Workshops. Comprehensive Booklets/SOPs on Biosafety & Biosecurity have been prepared and issued to all concerned Institutions for strict compliance.

29 Education/Awareness Raising
…..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH Education/Awareness Raising EDUCATION/ AWARENESS RAISING Media Regional Seminars Seminars/Conferences / Workshops In-house Presentations /Lectures Publications Academia

30 d. Oversight of Biological Research and Related Activities
…..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH d. Oversight of Biological Research and Related Activities Monitoring and Implementation Mechanism of the National Biosafety Guidelines is built on three tiers: National Biosafety Committee (NBC) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) National Biosafety Centre National Bio-ethics Committee

31 …..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH e. Code of Conduct Pakistan Emphasizes the need for formulating a Code of Conduct for the scientists. A draft Code of Conduct has been prepared and necessary consultations are undergoing for its final approval and Implementation.

32 f. Establishment of National Core Group of Life Sciences (NCGLS)
…..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH f. Establishment of National Core Group of Life Sciences (NCGLS) Working Group of Life Scientists from universities/institutions has been established under National Core Group of Life Sciences (NCGLS) in Nov 2007, with a mandate of: Capacity Building Development of Biosafety and Biosecurity Syllabi for Post-Graduate and Undergraduate levels

33 Evaluation of suggested syllabi by NCGLS
…..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH Evaluation of suggested syllabi by NCGLS Final review by Higher Education Commission A number of institutions like Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, University of Karachi, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS), Islamabad and Aga Khan University, Karachi have already revised their syllabi and are implementing it.

34 g. Pakistan Biological Safety Association (PBSA)
…..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH g. Pakistan Biological Safety Association (PBSA) Established in 2008 under the Umbrella of National Core Group of Life Sciences (NCGLS), Higher Education Commission and in collaboration with Committee on Scientific & Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH), Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). Memberships includes Scholars/ Scientists/ Microbiologists/Public Health Experts.

35 Seek for Biosafety Certification
…..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH Goals: Capacity Building in terms of developing expertise in the scientific, legal and technical areas for example in Risk Assessment, Risk Management and Laboratory Designing. Strategies: Train the Trainers Seek for Biosafety Certification

36 …..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH h. Mechanism for Disease Surveillance, Detection, Diagnosis And Containment Communicable Diseases (CDs) and Public Health Threats have always posed mammoth challenges for Health Authorities and Governments all over the world. The global traffic are paving ways for appearance of new microbes and re-emergence of old diseases. Focused surveillance and controlled measures can effectively check the spread of CDs and Public Health Threats.

37 …..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad deals with human diseases, whereas veterinary institutes handle diseases related to animals and birds. We have moderate system for disease Surveillance, Detection and Containment. Operational Lab-base Surveillance Programmes are being implemented in collaboration with WHO and International Partners.

38 …..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH LEGISLATION Export Control Act, 2004, this law provides for control over export, re-export, transshipment and transit of goods, technologies, material and equipment and prohibit diversion of controlled goods and technologies. This law has Penal Provisions of up to 14 Years imprisonment and Rs. 5 Million fine or both. Pakistan Biosafety Rules 2005, regulate manufacture, import and storage of modified organisms and genes and technological products for research.

39 …..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH National Bio-Safety Guidelines 2005, established procedures to keep Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) with in safety limits. In Oct 2005 Pakistan notified a Control List of goods, technologies, materials and equipment which incorporates internationally accepted standard list, including that of Australia group (AG) dealing with Biological Agents and Toxins, and Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

40 …..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH Strategic Export Control Division (SEC DIV): In pursuance of Export Control Act, the National Control Authority and its Oversight Board SEC DIV was established in Min of Foreign Affairs in SEC DIV formulates and enforces rules and regulations for the implementation of Export Controls. There are several existing Laws & Regulations to prevent and control the development and use of Biological Agents and Noxious substances like: Pakistan Penal Code 1960, Customs Act 1969, The Drugs Act 1976, Pakistan Plant Quarantine Act 1976, Surrender of illicit Arms Act 1991 and Anti terrorism Act 1997.

41 …..PAKISTAN’S APPROACH Draft BTWC Implementation Legislation, has been finalized after an intricate inter-departmental process and is now ready for final legal vetting by Ministry of Law before its enactment as law in accordance with national procedures.

42 CONCLUSIONS Pakistan remains committed to strengthening the BTWC, including establishment of a Compliance Regime through a Legally Binding Instrument. Very effective and comprehensive Legislation, and efficient Administrative Measures are in place for dealing with any untoward incident of Bio-Threats.

43 CONCLUSIONS Pakistan is doing its best to mitigate Biological Threats by setting up strong National Institutions and observing stringent Bio-Safety & Bio-Security Measures, keeping in view of available resources. International Cooperation and Transfer of Technology are areas that require attention and will compliment and support our national actions.



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