Imran Khan, Emmanuel Macron, And WHO Chief In The Pegasus Hit-listJuly 28, 2021
Recent reports have revealed that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, France President Emmanuel Macron, South African Chief Cyril Ramaphosa are some of the biggest names found in the surveillance list of the Israeli intelligence software Pegasus.
The company, however, has not admitted to claims of malpractice till now. The NSO Group has maintained that the software has been marketed to governments to keep an eye on the probable threats. But the Pegasus project, a group of 17 news organizations, has found out with the help of media nonprofits, Forbidden Stories, and Amnesty International that the software was used to monitor almost fifty thousand numbers, including that of 14 leaders of states and other influential names.
According to Guardian, Imran Khan was deemed to be a “person of interest by India in 2019” while Macron and Ramaphosa were observed by Morocco and Rwanda respectively. Even the King Mohammed VI of Morocco was not spared by his own intelligence in the same year. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, former DG of the World Health Organization also ended up on the list as a staffer of the head was targeted in the process.
Among the 14 leaders, 10 are prime ministers while three are presidents and King Mohammed VI was the only king to be surveyed. The list contains names like Iraq’s Barham Salih, France’s Édouard Philippe, Algeria’s Noureddine Bedoui, and Belgium’s Charles Michel. The company has claimed that President Macron, King Mohammed VI, and the former WHO director-general “are not, and never have been, targets or selected as targets of NSO Group customers.”
The media houses behind the Pegasus Project have not yet been able to investigate the phone of any of the leaders involved. While the Indian and Moroccan governments have denied having any part to play in the scandal.
The director of Amnesty International in Hungary said “The Hungarian government should immediately provide a meaningful response to this latest revelation by the Pegasus Project and clarify whether it knew about or approved the covert surveillance of journalists, businessmen, and others.” The Hungarian PM, Viktor Orban’s office has reacted to the questions saying, “In Hungary, state bodies authorized to use covert instruments are regularly monitored by governmental and non-governmental institutions.
Indian Government reported, “Considering the fact that answers to the queries posed have already been in the public domain for a long time, it also indicates poorly conducted research and lack of due diligence by the esteemed media organizations involved.”
Citing a right to information application submitted by a certain Sourav Das, the Ministry of electronics and information technology claimed that the question of their involvement with Pegasus has already been answered. But, Das took to Twitter to show that the answer is given by the government neither accepts nor denies the situation.
The Moroccan government, one of the most notorious as per the list, has also spoken against their relevance in the matter. “It should be recalled that the unfounded allegations previously published by Amnesty International and conveyed by Forbidden Stories have already been the subject of an official response from the Moroccan authorities, who have categorically rejected these allegations.”
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