ISI admits tapping nearly 7,000 phones in May

Islamabad, June 4 (IANS) Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has disclosed in the country’s apex court that it had tapped 6,856 telephones across the country in the month of May this year.

The information was shared on Wednesday with a three-judge Supreme Court bench, which was hearing a 19-year-old phone tapping case, Dawn reported on Thursday.

After examining the document submitted by Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Sajid Ilyas Bhatti, the court learned that the ISI had tapped 6,523 phone numbers in February, 6,819 in March, 6,742 in April and 6,856 in May.

The classified report was furnished on behalf of the ISI by the DAG in compliance with a May 22 direction, when the law officer had presented another report prepared by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) suggesting that it had tapped 5,594 phone numbers across the country.

A three-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, heard a 19-year-old suo motu case, initiated by former chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah in 1996.

Tracing the history of the case, Justice Saqib observed that the matter had been pending since 1996 and that even judges and chief justices’ phones were recorded during that period.

The judge also recalled that the court, while taking notice of the matter, had asked for submission of data on the total number of phones tapped and to inform it under which law these were being recorded.

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