Friday October 15, 2021

Govt refuses to divulge details of gifts to PM

September 21, 2021
Govt refuses to divulge details of gifts to PM

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill Monday said gifts received by Prime Minister Imran Khan during foreign visits are deposited in Toshakhana.

While responding to a debate on social media regarding secrecy maintained in the gifts received by the premier during official tours, Shahbaz Gill said that whenever a country presents a gift, it is neither advertised nor compared with any other country. He said in a tweet that such comparison is considered inappropriate, especially by Islamic countries, with whom we enjoy brotherly relations.

The SAPM said that normally Prime Minister Imran Khan deposits such gifts to Toshakhana, however, if he desires to retain them with him, he has to pay an amount for it. But he did not elaborate what particular gifts were retained and what were deposited in the Toshakhana.

“During previous tenures, a 15 percent amount was paid for such gifts; however, during the PTI government, 50 percent price of the gift is deposited to the treasury,” he said. Shahbaz Gill further took a jibe at previous leaders saying that gifts don’t disappear during their tenure. The government has refused to share information about the PM's gifts and also challenged the order of the Information Commission regarding sharing this information with a citizen. The Cabinet Division is of the view that release of such details will create unnecessary media hype and news, and it may also impact relations with friendly countries.

It is pertinent to mention here that cases are pending in the Pakistan courts against former prime ministers and a president including Asif Ali Zardari, Nawaz Sharif and Yusuf Raza Gilani regarding gifts received by them during official tours. Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari and Yusuf Raza Gilani are named in a reference for allegedly obtaining luxury vehicles from the treasury by paying 15 percent of the actual price.