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Pegasus Leaks: Imran Khan selected as person of interest by India in 2019, says Report

Imran Khan, Pakistan Prime Minister was selected as a person of interest by India in 2019, the leaked Pegasus database shows, as per The Guardian.

Pegasus Leaks: Imran Khan selected as person of interest by India in 2019, says Report

New Delhi

The leaked database at the heart of the Pegasus project includes the mobile phone numbers of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and 13 other heads of state and heads of government, The Guardian has revealed.

The South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and the Pakistani prime minister, Imran Khan, are also listed in the data, which includes diplomats, military chiefs and senior politicians from 34 countries. 

Imran Khan, the prime minister of Pakistan, who was selected as a person of interest by India in 2019, The Guardian said. 

"Neither India or Pakistan have commented specifically on claims that Delhi may have selected Khan for targeting. India has said it has well established protocols for interception which requires approval from highly ranked national or regional officials for "for clear stated reasons only in national interest", the report said 

The Dawn reported that Pakistan Minister for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib on Tuesday raised suspicions regarding former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's role in clandestinely accessing the personal data of his political opponents, saying "it is likely that Sharif obtained information [about Imran Khan] through Israeli spyware with the help of [Indian prime minister] Narendra Modi". 

Nawaz Sharif must have employed his connections with India to spy on Imran and breach his privacy through the Israeli software, Habib said. 

Habib said Modi had also made a stop over in Pakistan at a wedding function in Nawaz Sharif's family, while the latter had also attended the inauguration ceremony of the Indian PM. "These links indicate strong connection between them," the minister added. 

It is certain that Nawaz Sharif also obtained phone data of Imran Khan with assistance of Modi," he said, adding more details were still unfolding on the matter, The Dawn reported 

In its statement, NSO said the leaked list "is not a list of targets or potential targets of NSO's customers". Through its lawyers, NSO previously said the consortium had made "incorrect assumptions" about which clients use the company's technology. It said the 50,000 number was "exaggerated" and the list could not be a list of numbers "targeted by governments using Pegasus". 

Following the launch of the Pegasus project, Shalev Hulio, the founder and chief executive of NSO, said he continued to dispute the leaked data "has any relevance to NSO", but added that he was "very concerned" about the reports and promised to investigate them all. "We understand that in some circumstances our customers might misuse the system," he said.

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