Govt notification allowing phone tapping by ISI challenged in LHC

Govt notification allowing phone tapping by ISI challenged in LHC


Plea seeks annulment of the notification and making of rules of PTA Act's Section 54

  • The decision comes on the heels of petitions challenging alleged audio leaks

  • PTI takes issue with govt move and calls it breach of privacy

  • Barrister Gohar has already filed an application with Supreme Court to take notice

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LAHORE (Dunya News) - The federal government’s notification allowing the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to tap and intercept phones of citizens has been challenged in the Lahore High Court (LHC). 

Citizen Fahad Shabbir has filed a petition challenging the notification in the LHC through Advocate Nadeem Sarwar, making the prime minister, the federal government and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) respondents. 

The petition argues that the government of Pakistan has issued a notification allowing the ISI to tap citizens’ phones under Section 54 of PTA Act 1996 but the rules have not been devised under which the notification has been issued. 

The petitioner contends that the constitution allows the privacy and freedom of speech to citizens. And phone tapping is a clear-cut violation of the constitution according to the Indian Supreme Court, he argues. 

The petitioner requests the court to declare the government notification of intercepting and recording calls and messages by ISI or other agencies illegal and annual the notification until final verdict on the plea. 

He also pleads that the court direct the government to devise rules of PTA Act Section 54. 


The country’s premier spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was mandated by the federal government to intercept and trace phone calls and messages due to perceived threats to national security on Tuesday. 

This development coincides with ongoing court proceedings concerning petitions challenging alleged audio leaks involving former prime minister Imran Khan spouse Bushra Bibi and son of former chief justice Saqib Nisar. 

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the matter of phone tapping was passing through the legal stages. He said it had become necessary in view of national security and its importance had increased in the war the state had renewed against terrorism. 


The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf says it will move the Supreme Court to challenge the notification, saying “no one’s privacy should be breached.” 

PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali says the constitution clearly addresses the issue of phone tapping. He emphasises that it is clear that no one’s privacy should be breached. 

Speaking to the media at the Parliament House, he noted that while the Supreme Court had set parameters for placing criminal elements under surveillance, the notice issued by the government was a violation of the Constitution. 

“We have filed an application in the Supreme Court on phone tapping. I request the apex court to schedule the hearing,” he added. 

Also read: ISI mandated to trace, intercept phone calls, messages 

When a journalist pointed out that Imran Khan, during his tenure as PM, claimed that tapping phones was the mandate of the agencies, the PTI chairman denied and said the founder had never made such a statement.