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Wednesday May 29, 2024

Toshakhana gift records to be 'declassified': Khawaja Asif

Govt submitted details of Toshakhana gifts since 1947 in court.

By Web Desk
March 09, 2023
A collage of Toshakhana gifts reportedly sold by former PM Imran Khan. — GeoNews/File
A collage of Toshakhana gifts reportedly sold by former PM Imran Khan. — GeoNews/File

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif confirmed Thursday that the federal government had assented to "declassify" the records of the Toshakhana, which would soon be made available on the Cabinet Division's website.

The development comes weeks after the government informed the Lahore High Court (LHC) that the record of the Toshakhana gifts since 2002 would be “declassified” and uploaded on the internet.

The LHC on January 19 directed the government to submit an affidavit declaring the details of the Toshakhana gifts as "classified".

It is pertinent to mention here that the authorities on February 22 submitted to the court a sealed record of Toshakhana gifts received by the rulers and the bureaucrats from foreign dignitaries since the creation of Pakistan.

Deputy Attorney General Asad Bajwa also apprised the court that it is a “classified” record and the court could open it.

The final decision in this regard, however, will be made in the upcoming meeting of the federal cabinet.

What is the Toshkhana?

According to the law, whenever a head of state receives a gift from another state or country, they have to give 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.

These gifts either remain deposited in the Toshakhana or can also be auctioned and the money acquired through it is to be deposited into the national treasury.

The Toshakhana is under the microscope ever since it emerged that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan purchased gifts he received as prime minister and sold them off.

The PTI chief is being accused of being involved in corrupt practices, which the former premier denies.