The attorney general’s office has written letters to intelligence agencies in the country, seeking details of the telephones that have been intercepted as part of the surveillance programme.
The move comes nearly a week after the Supreme Court directed the government to furnish details regarding the wiretapping by intelligence agencies.
Earlier this month, a three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, directed the deputy attorney general (DAG) to submit a statement regarding the law under which phones were being tapped.
Hearing a suo motu case filed nearly two decades ago, the court had also directed the government to obtain details from the agencies and other relevant departments about the number of phones that were being monitored.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, sources familiar with the development revealed that in view of the court’s March 19 order, DAG Sajid Ilyas Bhatti has dispatched letters to federal and provincial agencies seeking details of the departments involved in wiretapping.
“The attorney general’s office has sought details from all agencies within 10 days so that the DAG could submit a concise statement before the court in the first week of April,” the sources confirmed.
The existence of the surveillance programme surfaced in 1996, when former chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah discovered that his phone calls were being intercepted. Shortly after that, the judge took notice of the wiretapping by the agencies and subsequently quizzed government over the unauthorised monitoring.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2015.
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