Former Pakistan Minister Rehman Malik urges UN chief to probe COVID-19 origin

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Islamabad: In a bid to find the origin of the disease, former interior minister and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Rehman Malik has urged the United Nations to form a high-powered commission to investigate whether Coronavirus, which has now hit almost all nations across the globe, is a man-made or a naturally grown virus, media reports said.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, he said the proposed commission on Covid-19 under the UN Convention on Biological Weapons, 1975 might comprise of virologists, scientists, professors, researchers, analysts and experts in the fields of microbiology and virology, reported Dawn News.

The request of Malik assumes significance since Pakistan considers China as its all-weather ally, a friend to take on India and is dependent on the Asian giant economically.

Malik said the commission should present its report to the UN secretary general 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, reported the Pakistani news paper.

“The world is interested to know whether the COVID-19 is a manmade or naturally grown,” the letter said.

“This investigation has become more important and need of the time as the death toll because of COVID-19 is increasing day by day worldwide and hospitals are unable to cater the growing number of patients,” he wrote.

Pakistan has witnessed a massive rise in the number of COVID-19 infected patients over the past couple of weeks.

Amid reports of improper implementation of policies by the government, the number of COVID-19 cases in Pakistan has touched 4780.

The country reported 72 deaths so far.