Lawmakers say Pegasus issue has ‘national security dimensions’
NEW DELHI (AA) – Opposition political parties in India Wednesday demanded a debate in both houses of the Parliament over spying by Pegasus, in the wake of revelations last month of governments worldwide using the private software.
India’s Parliament has been witnessing frequent protests and disruptions from opposition lawmakers demanding a discussion over the matter.
A joint statement by the opposition parties said: “The opposition parties stand firm and united on their demand for a discussion on the Pegasus issue in both the houses as this has national security dimensions.”
As reported last month by the Indian news website The Wire, Indian rights activists, journalists, and political leaders were among those targeted for surveillance using the software made by an Israeli company. The Wire reported about the leaked records initially accessed by Paris-based Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International.
Urging the government to “respect parliamentary democracy and accept the discussion,” the statement said the government has been told that debate on issues facing farmers should follow discussion on Pegasus.
Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, however, dismissed the issue as a “highly sensational story” and described the reports as an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its institutions.
The Indian Supreme Court is expected on Thursday to take up petitions seeking an independent probe into allegations against Pegasus software.