Tuesday June 06, 2023

LHC orders making Toshakhana record from 1990-2001 public

By Our Correspondent
March 23, 2023

LAHORE: Lahore High Court’s Justice Asim Hafeez on Wednesday ordered the government to make the complete record of Toshakhana from 1990 to 2001 public and also disclose the name of friendly countries that gifted the items.

The federal government objected to sharing the source of a gift and said it would challenge the verdict. Justice Asim Hafeez said it is your right to file a challenge.

The high court directed the authorities to release all the records, saying nothing could be hidden from public view. “Also share the name of the friendly country that gifted the items,” the court ordered. The order further stated that no one could retain the gift without making payment. The court issued the said orders on a petition of citizen Munir Hafeez, who sought complete details of the gifts received by political rulers and bureaucrats from foreign dignitaries since the creation of Pakistan. Earlier this month, the federal government had released the Toshakhana record from 2002 onwards, exposing the political leadership of the country that benefited from the depository. The government had maintained that releasing all the records may harm Pakistan’s relations with friendly countries; however, the court ignored these warnings and ordered to declassify records. Last week, the court had ordered the presentation of Toshakhana record prior to 2002 in any format available, adding that it would pass appropriate orders after reviewing the record.