Radioactive cargo 'didn't come from Pakistan': FO.

LONDON/ISLAMABAD -- Reports that a package containing uranium originating from Pakistan arrived at Heathrow Airport last month sparked panic in the United Kingdom on Wednesday, but Pakistani officials insisted that London has not contacted Islamabad regarding the investigation into the matter.

Officials also said that the shipment did not originate in Pakistan, as is being claimed by British media, and suspected foul play behind insinuations that the shipment had been booked from Karachi.

'No information to this effect has been shared with us officially. We are confident that the reports are not factual,' Foreign Office SpokesAperson Mumtaz Zahra said when asked to comment on the reports in British media that the seized material came from Pakistan.

Although initial media reports mentioned fears of a 'deadly shipment' that may have been used to make a 'dirty bomb', soon after the story was first reported by tabloid The Sun, multiple UK officials stressed the amount of radioactive material was 'extremely small' and posed 'no threat to the public'.

It is learnt that the cargo package arrived at Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 via Oman Air passenger flight WY 101, which arrived on the evening of December 29. The flight originated from Pakistan, where UK officials believe the package was checked in as cargo, and had a stopover in Muscat, Oman.

Upon arrival, the package was detected by regular airport scanners, which alerted Border Force officials to analyse the contents. The package contained scrap metal and the uranium in question was 'embedded into metal bars'.

The Sun claimed that the package was being shipped to UK-based Iranian nationals, with other media outlets saying it was shipped to a London-based business owned by Iranians.

'No metal' booked on flight from Pakistan

An official, who had been briefed on the issue, said that Oman Airlines' flight on Dec 29 had left Karachi for Muscat at 04.00 hours and its cargo contained frozen meat and apparel/garments. 'No metal or out-sized cargo was booked on the flight,' the official emphasised.

Officials fear that Pakistan is being deliberately drawn into this issue for maligning it.

Such an incident, if it were to have happened, would have raised questions about Pakistan's export control mechanisms and security of its radioactive material.

Pakistan boasts to have streamlined and strengthened its export control regime over the years. It is always emphasised by the officials that as a responsible...

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