Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Thursday claimed the government had given Green Signal for making records of Toshakhana gifts public after the high court’s orders.
The move comes days after the government pleaded with the Lahore High Court (LHC) that the records of the Toshakhana gifts since 2002 were being “declassified” and would be uploaded to the internet after final deliberation.
The LHC on 19th January directed the government to submit an affidavit declaring the details of the Toshakhana gifts as “classified”.
In a statement, the defence minister said the record of Toshakhana will be uploaded to the Cabinet Division’s website.
Authorities on 22nd February submitted in the court a sealed record of Toshakhana gifts received by the premiers, the presidents, and the bureaucrats from foreign dignitaries since the creation of Pakistan.
Deputy Attorney General Asad Bajwa apprised the court that it was a “classified” record and the court could open it.
Remember that The final decision in this regard, however, will be made in the upcoming meeting of the federal cabinet.
Toshakhana is a word of Persian origin that literally translates into “treasure house”.
In Pakistan, Toshakhana is a term used to refer to the state treasury, where gifts and presents received by the President, Prime Minister, or other high-level government officials are kept. The Toshakhana is managed by the Cabinet Division of the Government of Pakistan, and the gifts received by government officials are stored there for safekeeping.
The Toshakhana in Pakistan was established during the British colonial era and has been in operation ever since. The gifts received by government officials can range from simple tokens of appreciation to expensive and valuable items such as jewelry, cars, watches, and even animals.
According to Pakistan law, whenever a head of state receives a gift from another state or country, they have to commit it to the Toshakhana. If they wish to keep the gift, they have to pay a certain percentage of the value of the gift decided by relevant authorities.
The Toshakhana issue became a major issue in Pakistan’s politics after the Election Commission of Pakistan disqualified the PTI chief for making “false statements and incorrect declaration” last month.
The judgment added that the former premier was found to be indulged in corrupt practices under sections 167 and 173 of the constitution. “A criminal proceeding will be initiated against him over filing a false statement.”
“As per the statement of Imran Khan he had purchased the gifts from Toshakhana paying 21.564 million rupees while the Cabinet Division said that the gifts had a value of 107.943 million.”
The gifts include
- Rolex wristwatch no. M228206-0036, 43.6470
- Rolex wristwatch no. M126331-0014, 2G367435
- Rolex wristwatch no. M1I6700LS001,(999927K8) Oyster S
- One iPhone presented by Qatar’s army chief dated 14/11/2018
- Rolex wristwatch no. Yacht-Master, Oyster, Serial no.068A7072. Model 116680
- Rolex wristwatch (No.E67574V3), pair of cufflinks, one ring, and unstitched cloth of pants and coat from the crown prince of Saudi Arabia dated 18/09/2020.
- Graff gift set containing one Graff wristwatch Master Graff Special Edition Mecca Timepiece, One 18K gold and diamond Graff Pen, ring, and pair of cufflinks with a micro painting of Mecca.