Pegasus list: Pakistan seeks UN probe into reports of PM Imran Khan’s name

Updated on Jul 23, 2021 02:02 PM IST

Both The Washington Post and Le Monde reported on Monday that the number once used by Imran Khan had been selected by a NSO client for surveillance

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan. (REUTERS)
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan. (REUTERS)
ByHT correspondent

Pakistan on Friday accused India of being behind efforts to hack a phone number once used by Prime Minister Imran Khan using the Pegasus spyware and called for an investigation into the matter by UN agencies.

The spokesperson of Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement that Islamabad intends to bring the matter to the attention of “appropriate global platforms”, but didn’t give details.

According to reports by a global consortium of media outlets that examined a leaked database of 50,000 phone numbers selected for surveillance by clients of the Israeli company NSO Group, the developer of Pegasus, a number once used by Khan and those of dozens of diplomats in India were among potential targets of the spyware programme.

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Both The Washington Post and Le Monde reported on Monday that the number once used by Khan had been selected by a NSO client for surveillance.

“Not surprisingly, Pakistan is the most scrutinised country,” Le Monde said in its report.

“The numbers of Imran Khan and several of his ambassadors in India appear on the list as potential targets,” the report added, without giving details.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson alleged India was using the Israeli spyware to “hack the phones and computers of journalists, judges, diplomats, government officials, rights activists, and global leaders including Prime Minister Imran Khan”.

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

“We condemn in strongest possible terms India’s state-sponsored, continuing and widespread surveillance and spying operations in clear breach of global norms of responsible state behaviour,” he added.

The spokesperson further said: “We are closely following these revelations and will bring the Indian abuses to the attention of appropriate global platforms.

“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.”

There was no immediate response from Indian officials to the allegations made by Pakistan. The Indian government has so far denied all wrong-doing and also not confirmed or denied whether it licensed the Pegasus spyware.

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