The federal government has not granted permission to any agency for tapping the phones of civilians.
The Islamabad High Court has issued a written order for the hearing of cases related to audio leaks. The federal government has informed the court that no agency has been authorized to tap and record the phones of civilians.
Justice Babar Sattar issued a written order based on the requests of the son of former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and Bushra Bibi, in which the court inquired about which agency has the authority for electronic surveillance and call recording of civilians. The Attorney General stated that consultations would be held with the Prime Minister and the federal cabinet, after which a report will be submitted to the court.”
According to the written order, the Secretary of the Prime Minister, the Secretary of Defense and Interior, and the Chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) have submitted their responses. In the government’s response, it was stated that no agency has been authorized to tap and record the phones of civilians. Furthermore, for phone tapping or surveillance of civilians, a warrant can be obtained from a judge.
The High Court ordered that the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister should compile a written report on future hearings. The court inquired whether the Prime Minister’s office granted permission for phone tapping, who was given such authority, or whether warrants were obtained. If any such action has been taken by the federal government, gather the details.
The court directed that the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary can seek assistance from the relevant ministries and sensitive agencies. The court hopes that the federal government will present a clear report with the required information.
In the order, the High Court mentioned that Pakistan possesses the capability and an active national security infrastructure. It was not accepted that without the knowledge of the state, any hostile agency could record the calls of the highest public offices of the country. Similarly, it was also not acknowledged that non-state actors had recorded the calls of the Prime Minister’s office without the state’s awareness.