Pak intelligence destroying data before new govt takes office

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Islamabad, Mar 21 (UNI) Critical intelligence data and material, including explosive tape recordings of the top-most government, opposition and media persons, are being destroyed by Pakistani spy agencies to avoid getting caught after the change of government, a senior spy has revealed.

''It's time for some of the intelligence agencies to fritter away their dirty work before the incoming masters wash the dirty linen they have collected, in public,'' local daily The News quoted the spy as saying.

The senior spy, associated with the Intelligence Bureau, said the Intelligence Bureau(IB) was busy these days destroying the dirty work.

''In our late sittings, our men do this job to leave no evidence of what the bureau has been doing in recent years,'' the source confided on condition of anonymity.

In particular, telephonic tapes of different persons, including judges, lawyers, politicians, bureaucrats, journalists and even many of those who had ruled this country during the last eight years are being destroyed, claimed the official, who is one of the in-house contenders for the slot of the Director-General Intelligence Bureau, which has been recently vacated.

The spy cautioned that telephonic tapes being destroyed included conversation of families of ''earmarked'' journalists.

After March 9, 2007, some of the journalists were confronted with the narration, which was purely a free and frank discussion on professional matters between journalist colleagues.

However, it was on the basis of the same immoral and unlawful ''intelligence'' work of the intelligence agencies that some persons belonging to the media were seen by some of the rulers as among the so-called ''conspirators,'' who had fuelled the judicial crisis against General (retd) Musharraf.

Former railway minister Sheikh Rashid, who was one of those saner voices during those days of extreme subjugation of the country's media, had opposed the move against the working journalists.

According to a source, it was not only the IB but also the ISI that has been extensively involved in the bugging business.

The source said that some of the IB officials had secured the copies of some the high-profile tapes, which even included telephonic conversations of President Musharraf, the then prime minister Shaukat Aziz and almost every other player in the then government, including the Chaudhrys.

Some of these tapes are already in ''limited circulation.'' A source revealed that a former top ruler was also in the habit of taping telephones of his residence and office. Some officials, who have served in the Prime Minister Secretariat in recent years, are also believed to have in their possession some of these ''explosive'' tapes.

The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has been condemned in the past more than once for being involved in such dirty works. During the Byzantine period of the 1990s, both the then PPP and PML-N governments fully misused the IB for their political gains and it was during the same period when the taping scandal was unearthed for the first time.

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