London, Feb.4 (ANI): British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is to be questioned over allegations that British security services colluded in the torture of terrorism suspects and operated under a "James Bond-style get-out clause".
The allegations, first reported in the Guardian last year, relate to a number of suspects arrested in Pakistan at the request of British authorities between 2003 and 2007.
The men say agents of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) repeatedly tortured them before being questioned by MI5.
Yesterday members of the joint committee on human rights (JCHR) heard that British officials put pressure on the Pakistani authorities to get information and "knew very well" they were using torture during their investigations.
Ali Dayan Hasan, from Human Rights Watch, said: "Pakistani government officials and security officials in particular were very open about this. In many private conversations they have told me they were asked to do this by the UK - this is what they say, not once but repeatedly."
Andrew Dismore, chair of the JCHR, said a combination of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994 led him to conclude "that the security services may be operating under a James Bond-style get-out clause".
He added that the allegations were so serious that the committee would call the home secretary to give evidence. (ANI)