Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief Aftab Sultan was summoned by Senate Standing Committee on Rules and Privileges on Monday to respond to a privilege motion moved by Senator Salim Mandviwala of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) who had alleged that his mobile phone was being tapped by a secret agency.
Sultan said his agency required prior permission of the Prime Minister for tapping the telephones of a person, including parliamentarians.
"I can say categorically that I have not received any directives either from the previous or the present Prime Minister to tap the telephones of parliamentarians," he said.
No telephones of parliamentarians or journalists were presently being tapped under his command, he asserted. Sultan said there was a blanket permission to tap the phones of suspected terrorists and criminals. He said his agency had put under surveillance the telephones of only suspected terrorists and criminals in the interests of the country.
The IB chief told the meeting that he had no information about the tapping of Mandviwala's mobile phone. He also said officials of his agency could not tap the telephone of any individual without his approval or bringing the matter to his knowledge.
However, the Senator showed the copy of an internal communication of IB carrying a directive to provide complete data of the calls made to and from his personal telephone.
Mandviwala served as the finance minister during the previous PPP government. The IB first termed the "internal memo" shown by Mandviwala as fake but when asked to give it in writing, Sultan sought time to get the authenticity of the letter verified.
Amid the controversy, the chairman of the committee directed the IB chief to come up with a report within 10 days about the authenticity of the letter.

Latest News from World News Desk