ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party has expressed grave disappointment over the revelation that the National Security Agency of the USA has been spying on the PPP in 2010 and called upon the government to take up the issue at diplomatic level and seek guarantees that such grave violations of international law do not take place in the future.
According to media reports, the declassified documents have revealed that the NSA had been spying on the PPP in 2010.
This is a grave, unwarranted and totally unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign country and is condemned, spokesperson of the party said in a statement.
The PPP is proud of its record of always acting in supreme national interest, it owes no explanation to any foreign agency and no other country, regardless of its might and power, has any right to spy on it.
Such insensitive operations and unacceptable interference in the affairs of a political party of a sovereign country will serve no purpose except to increase resentment and distrust, he said.
Those who have violated the norms of responsible behavior by spying on the political institutions of a sovereign country owe an apology, he said.
INDIA SUMMONS US ENVOY ON SPYING CLAIM
AFP adds: India summoned the top diplomat from the US embassy Wednesday to complain for the third time about spying, following new allegations that Washington’s National Security Agency targeted its ruling party.
“What we have said is that we expect a response and an assurance that this won’t happen again,” a foreign ministry source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
A new classified document made public by The Washington Post on Monday showed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was among authorised targets for the NSA in 2010 while it was India’s main opposition.
India has complained to the United States on two previous occasions, in July and November 2013, over other revelations - including the disclosure that its UN mission in New York and its Washington embassy were snooped on.
Both times Washington has said it would look into what it can share about its espionage programme but failed to offer any details, the source said. “We have said that we would like a response, which we haven’t received,” he said.
The new incident comes ahead of a visit to New Delhi by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is expected to meet Modi and other govt members in the next few months.
The Indian PM, whose party swept to power in May with the first majority in 30 years, will travel to the United States in September for the UN General Assembly and his first meeting with President Barack Obama.
The BJP was listed among six foreign political parties - along with Egypt’s Islamist movement the Muslim Brotherhood and the Pakistan People’s Party - on which the NSA was given permission to carry out surveillance in 2010, says the document published by The Washington Post.
It was supplied by fugitive US intelligence worker Edward Snowden.
“We have taken note of these reports of illegal spying by a foreign country’s agency on the BJP and it is certainly not good,” BJP vice president and senior spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told AFP.
“Our government is already looking into it and will act in accordance with procedure.”
The US embassy in New Delhi is currently between ambassadors, meaning acting ambassador Kathleen Stephens is its most senior diplomat.
“As is standard, the US does not comment on its bilateral diplomatic communications with a host government,” an embassy spokesman told AFP when asked about the summons.
Relations are still recovering from a damaging dispute in December about the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York, who was charged with visa fraud over the employment of a domestic servant.
The detention provoked a furious reaction from India and raised more doubts over a troubled alliance which Obama hoped in 2009 could become “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century”.
The US is keen to build personal relations with Modi, having been the last country to lift a decade-long boycott of the Hindu nationalist over religious riots which occurred while he was running his home state of Gujarat in 2002.
US ambassador to India Nancy Powell resigned in April, six weeks after she met Modi for the first time amid criticism that Washington had been too slow to embrace the man widely tipped to win this year’s election.