Pegasus: Pakistan Calls for UN Intervention to Probe India's Involvement in Spying on PM Imran Khan
12:12 GMT 23.07.2021 (Updated: 10:37 GMT 19.07.2022)
The Indian government is currently in the spotlight after the opposition blamed it for unlawfully snooping on over 300 Indian nationals. The accusation comes after a UK-based human rights group revealed in a report that the Israeli malware Pegasus was spying on over 50,000 people around the world, including journalists and politicians.
Pakistan has urged the United Nations (UN) to probe if India played a role in Prime Minister Imran Khan's number emerging in the Pegasus scandal.
The Washington Post earlier reported that a phone number, once used by the Pakistani PM, was breached by Pegasus spyware. When latched onto a device, the snooping system is able to mine call records, messages, WhatsApp chats, locations, and other screen activities from the victim's phone and transmit the data to the attacker.
"We have noted with serious concern recent international media reports exposing the Indian government's organised spying operations against its own citizens, foreigners, as well as Prime Minister Imran Khan, using an Israeli origin spyware", the Indian media quoted a statement issued by Pakistan's Foreign Office to draw the attention of relevant UN bodies, as saying.
The Forensic Methodology Report by Amnesty International released over the weekend claims that Pegasus spyware has been used in a widespread and persistent manner to spy on over 50,000 influential people around the world, including in India.
A total of 17 global media outlets, including The Washington Post, and the Indian publication The Wire were among others who joined Amnesty International to report the spyware attack.
Developed by an Israel-based security firm NSO Group, Pegasus has been classed as a highly sophisticated, military-grade snooping mechanism by cyber experts.
NSO Group alleges that it sells this spyware system to the governments listed as its clients, including India, claiming to help the nations "keep track of terrorists and threats".
In India, key leaders from the Congress Party - Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra - have raised questions over the Indian government's potential involvement in the hacking attack in a bid to suppress opposing voices.
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) July 19, 2021
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 19, 2021