Islamabad, In a recent court hearing, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) acknowledged its inability to trace the source of leaked audio conversations, a matter addressed during pleas filed by Saqib Nisar’s son and Bushra Bibi, the wife of former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Legal Scrutiny: Justice Babar Sattar of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) questioned the submission of the ISI report through the Ministry of Defence, prompting Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan to suggest that the intelligence agency should have submitted the report through the Prime Minister’s Office. The report indicated the need for assistance from social media platforms in the ongoing investigation.
Unlawful Recordings: AGP Awan emphasized that no intelligence agency, including ISI. Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). And Intelligence Bureau (IB), had official authorization from the federal government for audio recordings. He stated that any government agency conducting such recordings was doing so unlawfully.
Judicial Decision: Justice Sattar asserted that it now the federal government’s responsibility to decide the course of action in the case. He hinted at seeking assistance from national. And international judicial bodies if the government failed to disclose the entity responsible for tapping the calls.
Investigation Process: AGP Awan informed the court that the FIA was issuing notices to telecommunication companies to review the case. He highlighted the FIA’s need for access to IP addresses. And reiterated that any government agency conducting such recordings was doing so unlawfully.
Media Regulation and Constitutional Concerns: The court briefed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) lawyer. Emphasizing that TV channels were prohibited from broadcasting private audio leaks. During the hearing, senior lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan suggested the need for self-regulation, highlighting concerns about the non-implementation of the Constitution.
Next Steps: The court directed the Attorney General to investigate whether. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) had the authority to record calls. The AGP committed to providing the necessary information. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) instructed to submit a detailed report at the next hearing. The court expressed its intention to appoint national and international amici curiae. If the government failed to provide the required information. With senior journalists appointed to offer insights into the matter related to the code of conduct for TV channels. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), FIA, and other parties were directed to re-file their responses for the upcoming hearing.