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Pakistan seeks UK spying assurance, tights mission security

IRNA

Islamabad, Nov 10, IRNA - Pakistan said on Monday that security has 
been beefed up for its diplomatic mission in Britain following reports
that its High Commission in London was bugged by British intelligence 
services in 2001. 
"We have not received any response from British government to our 
request for inquiry into reports," Foreign Office spokesman said. 
Spokesman Masood Khan told weekly press briefing that Pakistani 
High Commissioner in Britain Maleeha Lodhi has met officials of the 
British Foreign and Commonwealth offices and raised the matter. 
The spokesman said the matter had also been raised by Pakistan`s 
foreign minister, Khurshid Kasuri, when he had a scheduled meeting 
with the British foreign secretary, Jack Straw, in London last week. 
He said Pakistan would like a response from the British government
as to whether the operation was authorized for MI-5 or the Scotland 
Yard which are under the British government control. 
"There is lot of anger in Pakistan about the incident as reported 
in the Sunday Times," Khan added. 
"We have established contacts with all officials and are now 
waiting for London to respond," the spokesman said, asking the British
government to provide information about the bugging reports. 
The British government has not denied and confirmed the reports, 
he said. 
"If the operation did take place, then it is violation of Vienna 
Convention," Khan said, hoping that British government will hold 
inquiry. 
The spokesman said Pakistan has also demanded assurances that such
a thing would not happen again. 
The British High Commissioner in Islamabad, Mark Lyall Grant, was 
summoned to the Pakistani foreign ministry last week and asked to 
explain reports that Pakistan`s High Commission in London had been 
bugged. 
The Sunday Times newspaper in London had earlier reported that the
British intelligence service, MI5, had fitted bugging devices in an 
unnamed embassy in London under the cover of construction work, more 
than two years ago. 
The spokesman said they were holding their own internal inquiry. 
"If the reports are proven true, says the source, Pakistan would like 
to be assured that such a thing is not repeated in future," the 
spokesman said. 
According to the British newspaper report the British intelligence
agency fitted the bugging equipment following the September 11 attacks
in the United States. 
The services of four construction contractors were hired for this 
purpose. However, one of them made the disclosure. 
The report said the British intelligence agency also tried to have
access to the mission`s special code, which is used for exchange of 
secret diplomatic messages. 
TK/TSH/211 
End 



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