India’s spying operation breach of global norms: Pakistan

Foreign Office urges UN to look into Delhi’s spying operation

By: News Desk      Published: 04:22 PM, 23 Jul, 2021
India’s spying operation breach of global norms: Pakistan
File photo.

Pakistan Foreign Office has expressed its grave concern over the international media reports exposing India’s state-sponsored widespread surveillance and spying operation by using Israeli origin spyware, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The FO on Friday condemned India’s spying operation in harsh words asking the United Nations and other concerned institutes to look into the matter as spying is a breach of global norms.

“Pakistan has strongly condemned India's state-sponsored, continuing and widespread surveillance and spying operations in clear breach of global norms of responsible state behaviour,” Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said.

Chaudhri was responding to media queries regarding India's use of Israeli spyware - Pegasus - to hack the phones and computers of journalists, judges, diplomats, government officials, rights activists, and global leaders including Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He said: “We have noted with serious concern the recent international media reports exposing Indian government's organized spying operations against its own citizens, foreigners as well as Prime Minister Imran Khan, using an Israeli origin spyware.”

He said keeping a clandestine tab on dissenting voices is a long-standing textbook ploy of the RSS-BJP regime to commit human rights atrocities in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and peddle disinformation against Pakistan.

“The world has seen the true face of the so-called Indian ‘democracy’ when the reports of EU Disinfo Lab, Indian Chronicle, surfaced earlier last year. We are closely following these revelations and will bring the Indian abuses to the attention of appropriate global platforms,” the FO spokesperson added.

He said, “in view of the gravity of these reports, we call on the relevant UN bodies to thoroughly investigate the matter, bring the facts to light, and hold the Indian perpetrators to account.”

The use of Israeli spyware – Pegasus –was first reported by The Washington Post, the Guardian, Le Monde and other media outlets which joined forces to investigate the data leak.

The WP said that more than 1,000 phone numbers in India appeared on the surveillance list while hundreds were from Pakistan, including the one PM Imran once used. However, it did not mention whether the surveillance bid on PM Imran's number was successful.

Moreover, the Indian news website The Wire reported that that 300 mobile phone numbers used in India — including those of government ministers, opposition politicians, journalists, scientists and rights activists — were on the list.

The numbers included those of more than 40 Indian journalists from major publications such as the Hindustan Times, The Hindu and the Indian Express, as well as two founding editors of The Wire, it said.