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Date Posted: 06:32:27 01/23/05 Sun
Subject: PAKISTAN HIGH COMMISSION BUILDING BUGGING IN LONDON
PAKISTAN EMBASSY BUILDING
BUGGING – DONOT OUR DIPLOMATS
KNOW BASIC SAFETY REQUIREMENTS
By Javed - 25 December 2003
Sunday Times in November 2003 reported that British Intelligence M15 used a building contractor to plant bugging devices during its refurbishment in a friendly Embassy. It did not name the embassy but circumstances indicated it was Pakistan. Later as per Pakistani newspapers Government of Pakistan raised the issue at different levels, lodged a protest by calling British Embassy to Foreign Affairs. Dozens and dozens of columns have appeared. More than 100 letters to editor in different newspapers I have read. British Government has refused to give any comments.
But I fail to understand that why all these letter writers, high profile wise columnists and our authorities including parliamentarian have not raised the real “core” issue which actually should had been raised.
“Spying” or keeping a “vigil” for negative enemity or just as a routine data collection of other countries and activities of every Embassy on the soil even between two friendly countries had always been a non-refutable open secret. As such British spying Pakistan High Commission should in now way be a strange thing.
I worked abroad for 15 years. My job had been in a general security type Government organistion. In Pakistan I also served equal period and here also my job had been in such an organization which dealt with some national interest. During all my 30 years service I saw organizations more particularly Embassies etc always paid utmost attention to secrecy and security aspect. I do remember in Pakistan a friend whose brother in 60s worked in US Embassy Karachi just during a general talking on the topic of our own office told us that even when an in-house electrician or an outsider painter came for work, the concerned office room or place was totally emptied including removal of the telephone sets for security purpose.
Only the other day our President General Musharraf who is day and night struggling for putting the country back on right track addressing Punjab Cabinet stated corruption and nepotism was the main cause of national ills and this can only be overcome by putting right man on right job. We have a large army of highly paid staff in our High Commission in London. And as per my general knowledge like prevailing practice, we also have Military Attaches in some of our Embassy including London. Were all these people in High Commission sleeping that a contractor came and installed vigilance equipment? Did our embassy official had now knowledge of checking after the work was done? Were our files and documents there lying open that contractor got all information. The point to ponder is this and not why M15 bugged our embassy.
Country’s senior intellectual columnist Mr. Abdul Qadir Hassan once stated he went to High Commission where he was taken to meet the Information Minister. The secretary introduced Mr. Qadir to the Minister that he was columnist from leading daily Jang. The Minister, an Information Minister, conveying usual greetings enquired from Mr. Qadir “what does you do”. Qadir Hassan wrote I wished I could tell the Minister I drive a Taxi. My memories vividly remember reading somewhere, not far long (how nepotism works) that an officer was posted in our High Commission only because his child was sick and to afford him treatment at London the convenient way found was posting him there.
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