Islamabad: Imran Khan during his tenure as Pakistan’s prime minister took most of the items gifted by foreign dignitaries from the Toshakhana “free of cost”, the ruling Pakistan alliance has alleged.
According to a petition filed with the Election Commission of Pakistan in relation to the Toshakhana controversy, the ousted premier paid for only some of the items that he took home, Geo TV reported on Sunday.
The petition filed on behalf of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) claimed that the cricketer-turned-politician took away most of the items from the Toshakhana without payment as he allegedly did not disclose the gifts he took and concealed the information in his statements.
According to Pakistan’s law, any gift received from dignitaries of a foreign state must be put in the state depository or the Toshakhana.
If the head of the state wishes to keep the gift, they have to pay an amount equal to its value, which is decided through an auction.
These gifts either remain deposited in the Toshakhana or can be auctioned and the money acquired through it is to be deposited into the national treasury.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in April this year, soon after the ouster of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief, revealed that Khan in “violation of the law” sold Toshakhana gifts comprising diamond jewellery sets, bracelets, and wrist watches worth Rs 140 millon in Dubai.
The Election Commission, issuing a notice to Khan in connection with the reference, summoned him for a hearing on August 18.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha filed a separate reference against Khan at the ECP, seeking his disqualification as a member of Pakistan’s National Assembly for not disclosing information regarding the gifts received from the Toshakhana in his assets declaration.
According to Pakistani media reports, Khan had earned Rs 36 million from the sale of three expensive watches gifted by visiting dignitaries from friendly Gulf countries.
While responding to the Toshakana controversy earlier in April, Khan had said that those were his gifts, so it was his choice whether or not to keep them. “Mera Tohfa, Meri Marzi [my gift, my choice],” he had said.
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