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Imran Khan summoned in ‘Toshkhana’ controversy; PDP claims ex-PM took most items for free




ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued an opinion to former Prime Minister and leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, in connection with the controversy over the collection of government treasury and summoned him for a hearing on August 18. The notice was given to Khan after the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) filed a complaint against him claiming the ex-Prime Minister had taken most of the treasury items “for free” during his tenure, Geo TV reported. PDM filed the reference claiming that Khan had only paid for some items he had brought from the ‘Toshkhana’, but most of the items he had taken from the government treasury had been taken without payment. In the reference, it was alleged that Khan failed to disclose the gifts he took and concealed the information in his statements. According to some information, gifts received by government officials must be reported immediately, so that their value can be assessed. Only after an assessment, the recipient can withdraw the gift, if he wishes to keep it, after depositing a specific amount. These gifts either remain deposited in the Toshakhana or can be auctioned off and the money so acquired must be deposited in the National Treasury. Last month, the former Pakistani prime minister sold three expensive watches from the government treasury collectively worth more than 154 million Pakistani rupees (Pkr) to a local watch dealer, according to media reports. Imran Khan is said to have earned millions of rupees from these jewel-class watches donated by foreign dignitaries, The News International newspaper reported. The most expensive watch worth over Pkr 101m was withheld by Khan at 20% of its value after his PTI government changed the rules and set the gift retention price at 50% of its value of origin. The PTI chief first sold the watches and then deposited 20% of each in the state treasury, the Pakistani daily said citing documents and sales receipts. He added that these gifts worth millions of rupees were never deposited in Toshakhana. In April this year, Shehbaz Sharif accused his predecessor Imran Khan of selling Toshakhana gifts worth Pkr 140 million in Dubai. “Imran Khan sold these gifts for Pkr 140 million in Dubai,” Shehbaz had said. He said the expensive gifts included diamond jewelry sets, bracelets and wristwatches. Shehbaz’s revelation came in response to a query regarding a petition asking for the details of the Toshakhana which had been filed in the Islamabad High Court on which Prime Minister Imran Khan said the details could not be revealed in accordance with the Official Secrets Act 1923.




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