Islamabad: Pakistan`s top civilian intelligence agency - Intelligence Bureau (IB) - has said that the phone calls of lawmakers and politicians are not being tapped, media reported Tuesday.
The intelligence agency said this following reports that surveillance is being carried out.
Appearing before the Senate standing committee on rules and privileges, headed by Tahir Hussain Mashhadi of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, IB Director General Aftab Sultan said his agency required a prior permission of the prime minister for tapping the telephones of a person, including parliamentarians, Dawn reported Tuesday.
"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, adding that no telephone calls of parliamentarians or journalists were presently being tapped under his command.
Sultan said the agency had put under surveillance the telephone calls of only suspected terrorists and criminals in the interests of the country, and for that purpose it had the blanket permission.
The civilian spy chief was summoned by the committee to respond to a privilege motion moved by Salim Mandviwala of Pakistan People`s Party (PPP) last year.