ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s ISI has received a carte blanche. Shahbaz Sharif Govt Intercepting phone calls and messages “in the interest of national security” amid nationwide outrage over allegedly unbridled powers the spy agency already has.
The permission to tap calls and messages was issued by the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications on Monday, citing numerous complaints of mysterious disappearances of people in the restive provinces of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by law, the Federal Government, in the interest of national security and in view of the apprehension of an offence, agrees to authorize the designation from time to time of officers below grade 18. The ISI , to block calls and messages, or to trace calls by someone Telecommunication system As envisaged under the Pakistan Telecommunications (Reorganisation) Act,” the order said.
The move comes amid criticism from some Pakistani judges, journalists, opposition politicians and supporters of jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan for allowing the Shehbaz administration to allow the ISI to violate citizens’ rights in the name of national security. I have come forward.
In March, six high court judges accused the spy agency of interfering in judicial matters and resorting to “intimidation” tactics such as secrecy. MonitoringKidnapping of targets, installation of cameras in bedrooms and torture of their family members.
While intrusive surveillance by spy agencies is not uncommon in Pakistan, many did not speak out until alleged audio clips of Imran and his wife Bushra Bibi surfaced before this year’s general elections. of
Last December, Imran’s wife filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court, challenging “unauthorized” surveillance and privacy violations.
During the hearing, it was revealed that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had ordered telecom companies to install financial, import, and mass surveillance systems to access public data.
A day earlier, the Home Ministry defended its months-long ban on social media platform X on the grounds that it posed a “threat to peace and national security”. The ban was imposed on February 17 based on “intelligence reports”.
“The hostile elements operating at X have nefarious intentions to create an atmosphere of chaos and instability, with the ultimate aim of destabilizing the country and plunging it into some form of anarchy,” the ministry said. said





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