PPP lodges formal protest with US over spying charges

Ashraf informs US envoy through letter

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Sunday formally lodged its protest with the United States over the spying of the largest political party by the National Security Agency (NSA), a private TV channel reported.

In a letter sent to US Ambassador Richard Olson, PPP Secretary General Raja Pervez Ashraf expressed his party’s concern over the role of the US agencies. The letter stated that the spying of a political party by the National Security Agency was against the moral values and international laws.

He said that it will not be tolerated at any cost. It also said that such activities would affect the bilateral ties, therefore, the PPP urged upon the US to amend their laws to stem such illegal acts forthwith. Under a 2010 certification approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA), the NSA was permitted to spy on 193 foreign governments as well as political organisations and other entities, The Washington Post newspaper had reported.

According to the certification, the agency would require new certification approved by the court to permit such surveillance under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. Sparing Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand with whom the US has broad no-spying arrangements, the NSA was allowed to spy on 193 countries including Pakistan.

The list also includes two factions of foreign nations Palestine; Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on NSA’s radar. Under the FISA court certification, the US agency was even authorised to spy on foreign-based political organisations including the Pakistan People’s Party from Pakistan and the Bharatiya Janata Party from India.

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