Declassified records released on Sunday revealed that while serving as Prime Minister, Imran Khan deposited 50 state gifts in Toshakhana and received 111 state gifts during his tenure. Other government officials who received gifts from Toshakhana included former presidents, prime ministers, ministers, and top government officers.
The records also showed that former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and his family acquired a staggering 885 gifts from Toshakhana. During their time in office, Nawaz Sharif and his family were gifted 55 items from the state, out of which ten were deposited in Toshakhana. Former President Asif Ali Zardari received 181 state gifts, while Bilawal Bhutto Zardari received 13 gifts during his tenure and deposited four of them in the state depository. The current President, Arif Alvi, and his family members acquired 130 state gifts, out of which three have been deposited, and 24 are still being processed.
Former President Pervez Musharraf and his family retained 119 gifts. In comparison, current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif received 24 state gifts during his tenure as Chief Minister of Punjab and in his present office. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and his family kept 33 state gifts, and former Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali received over 85 contributions from Toshakhana. Finally, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf kept 11 gifts presented to him in his official position.
To increase transparency, the federal government declassified the Toshakhana records and made the 466-page data available on the Cabinet Division’s website.
Imran Khan’s arrest warrant has been upheld by the court.
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s plea for exemption from appearing in court has been rejected, and his arrest warrant has been upheld by a district and sessions court in Islamabad. The court had reserved its verdict on his plea last week, following the suspension of non-bailable arrest warrants by the Islamabad High Court until March 13 in the graft case related to the purchase and sale of gifts from the Toshakhana.
The Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal heard arguments from both sides before reserving the verdict and ordered Imran Khan to be presented on March 18.
The court has also summoned him today for indictment in the Toshakhana case, which was initiated based on a complaint filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan. Imran Khan had also sought an exemption from appearing in court due to security threats.
During the hearing, Khawaja Haris, the lawyer for PTI chief Imran Khan, cited security threats as the reason for his client’s absence in court. He clarified that Khan was not avoiding the hearings deliberately and pointed out that it was on record that he was injured in an assassination attempt last year.
Haris informed the judge that petitions had been submitted in the Islamabad High Court and Lahore High Court requesting that Khan appears via video link. He also presented a plea seeking to declare the ECP’s criminal complaint against his client inadmissible, questioning the authority of the complainant and under what circumstances it could be filed.
The lawyer raised objections to the indictment of Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case, stating that it was a delayed tactic by the complainant.
In response, the ECP’s lawyer opposed granting exemption to Imran Khan from court appearance and accused the defense of intentionally delaying the proceedings.
The defense initially refused to appear before the court but later challenged the admissibility of the ECP’s petition against Khan.
Imran Khan cites ‘security threats as a reason for not appearing before courts
Imran Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and former prime minister, reiterated on Monday that he does not appear before courts due to security threats. He stated that he did not trust the incumbent government and asked the Supreme Court to ensure his safety during court appearances. He also suggested that all his cases should be clubbed together and conducted through virtual hearings if the government is unable to provide security.
Khan mentioned that a similar arrangement was made in India, where cases of prime ministers were heard under a single roof. Earlier in the day, a district and sessions court in Islamabad issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for Khan in the judge ‘threat’ case. He had criticized the police and judiciary over the alleged custodial torture of Shahbaz Gill and announced that his party would file cases. On August 20, he announced that his party would file cases against Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr. Akbar Nasir Khan, the DIG, and AD&SJ Zeba Chaudhry, over the alleged custodial torture of Shahbaz Gill, and condemned the police and judiciary for it.
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