ISLAMABAD – Chairman Senate deferred the discussion on Snowden statement as no minister was present in the house to respond over the issue.

State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab sought from the chair that matter should be deferred for some time.

Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani said "No one from the government is ready to own the issue". He said that Senate had written to Cabinet Division but no one took responsibility to respond over it.

Chairman directed privileges committee chairman to issue notice to secretary cabinet division and give report to the house next week

The Senate was to discuss a revelation made in the Wiki Leaks that UK spy agency spied over communication data of Pakistan.

The house was to discuss the adjournment motion moved by ANP Senator Sahi Syed in this regard.

There were growing concerns from civil society in Pakistan over the spying of private communication of Pakistanis by UK spy agency when Wiki Leaks published the report.

According to Senate agenda, "The house will discuss adjournment motion on statement of Edward Snowden former CIA official that GCHQ used to spy on communication system of Pakistan".

It is pertinent to mention here that former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden on October 6 had revealed that the UK government acquired vast amounts of communications data from inside Pakistan by secretly hacking into routers manufactured by the US company, Cisco.

In an interview with the BBC’s Panorama programme, the whistleblower said that British spies can hack into phones remotely with a simple text message and make audio recordings or take photos without owners knowing.

“They want to own your phone instead of you,” Snowden said, referring to Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) agency.

Snowden claimed that GCHQ used a series of interception tools called “Smurf Suite”, after the blue cartoon characters, The Smurfs. “Nosey Smurf” enabled spies to switch on a smartphone´s microphone even if the phone was off, he claimed.

Other programmes used by GCHQ were nicknamed “Tracker Smurf” and “Dreamy Smurf”, which allows phones to be switched on and off remotely, Snowden said.

He said the text message sent by GCHQ to gain access to the phone would not be noticed by its owner.

“It’s called an ‘exploit’,” he said. “When it arrives at your phone it’s hidden from you. It doesn’t display. You paid for it but whoever controls the software owns the phone,” he added.

The BBC said the UK government declined to comment in line with usual policy on intelligence matters.

Snowden, who has been charged by the US with espionage and theft of government property after leaking documents to the media about digital espionage, has been living in exile in Russia since June 2013.