Pakistan says it is improving security
at its diplomatic posts around the world, following allegations that Britain
illegally planted listening devices at the Pakistani embassy in London.
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman Masood Khan did not specify Monday
what new security measures would be implemented, but said the move would cover
all of Pakistan's foreign posts.
He says Pakistan was caught off guard by alleged British spying on its London
embassy, officially known as the Pakistani High Commission, learning of the
allegation through the British newspaper, The Sunday Times.
"The United Kingdom and Pakistan are very close allies and friends so everyone
was surprised when this story was published in The Sunday Times," said
The newspaper account, published last week, claimed that Britain's counterintelligence
agency, MI5, along with law enforcement officials at Scotland Yard, carried
out the spying operation.
A later report claims listening devices were planted in the High Commission
as early as 2001.
Mr. Khan says the bugging of the mission could have been a rogue operation,
conducted without the knowledge of top British government officials.
But he adds that the British foreign office has not commented on the report,
and Pakistani inquiries have so far been met with silence. "We have drawn a
blank from other parts of the British government," he said. "This is a bit
surprising. We would want a response, because we believe that MI5 and the Scotland
Yard are not satellites above the British government, they are under the command
of the British government."