- FO condemns India’s state-sponsored, continuing and widespread surveillance and spying operations
Pakistan has called on relevant United Nations (UN) bodies to thoroughly investigate India’s reported use of Israeli spyware Pegasus, bring the facts to light, and hold Indian perpetrators to account.
"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 Foreign Office (FO) said in a press release issued on Friday.
Condemning India’s state-sponsored, continuing and widespread surveillance and spying operations, the FO called it a breach of global norms of responsible state behaviour.
The statement added that 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 (IIOJK) 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," FO press release said.
The ministry continued that Pakistan is 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," FO added.
Last week, a global investigation revealed that a number of Kashmiri leaders, Pakistani diplomats, Chinese journalists, Sikh activists, and business people were selected as potential targets of the Israeli-made Pegasus spyware program. One number, reportedly once owned by Prime Minister Imran Khan, was also among the list of mobile phones targeted.
Pegasus is a hacking software that was developed, marketed, and licensed to governments around the world by the Israeli company NSO Group. NSO Group is based in the Israeli hi-tech hub of Herzliya, near Tel Aviv.
It is reportedly a highly invasive tool that can switch on a target's phone camera and microphone, as well as access data on the device, effectively turning a phone into a pocket spy.
According to the Pegasus Project investigation, out of the 50,000 phone numbers leaked, over 1,000 Indian numbers were also selected as potential targets.
According to The Guardian, the numbers “strongly indicate that intelligence agencies within the Indian government were operating the system.”