ISLAMABAD: Pakistani government yesterday dismissed the claims of former US intelligence contractor, Edward Snowden pertaining to Britain having acquired communication data by hacking into the routers, as unverified.

The new claims of the whistleblower have a potential to cause a rift between the two countries. However, Pakistani government seems little interested in verifying the claims of the former National Security Agency contractor who made headlines in 2013 when he leaked top secret information about the US National Security Agency.

Foreign Office Spokesman, Qazi Khalilullah termed the claims as ‘report of an individual’. “This is an individual’s report… We have to check first how credible this news is and then we will be in a position to say something or take action on it”, he said. When asked if the government of Pakistan is doing something to verify Snowden’s claims, he replied: No further comments. However, he was of the view that ministry of interior would be appropriate forum to seek comments on the issue.

When contacted, Nuzhat Sadiq chairperson of senate’s foreign affairs committee told The Nation that the credibility of the claims is yet to be ascertained. “We don’t know about the authenticity of his (Snowden) claims. “I will check with the relevant authorities whether it is true and then comment further on the subject”. He was of the view that the subject apparently relates to the ministry of Information technology. DG FIA Akbar Hoti and Project Director NR3C at the FIA, Sabir Ahmad could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts.

Snowden had leaked classified information from the US National Security Agency in 2013, which led to the revelation of America’s extensive surveillance programme.