Friday June 14, 2024

Toshakhana reference: Three major violations by Imran Khan

By Kasim Abbasi
August 07, 2022

ISLAMABAD: There are three major violations committed by ex-prime minister Imran Khan, according to the Toshakhana Reference filed against him.

Firstly, Imran Khan failed to disclose gifts valued over Rs140 million that he had retained in the statement of assets and liabilities.

Secondly, apart from the fact that the ex-premier had taken many gifts home for free, he also retained gifts at prices far less than what he was actually supposed to pay, according to the Toshakhana rules and law.

And lastly, Imran Khan made payments for retention of some precious gifts after selling them in the open market.

A reference has been filed by a PMLN MNA before the Election Commission of Pakistan, seeking disqualification of Imran Khan as a Member National Assembly for false declaration of assets in the statement of assets and liabilities.

Every MNA is bound to disclose all their wealth (movable or immovable) before the Election Commission of Pakistan in the statement of assets and liabilities every year. Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, retained hundreds of gifts worth over over Rs140 million. Nevertheless, Khan failed to disclose them in his statement of assets and liabilities before the ECP.

Imran Khan did not mention any of the retained Toshakhana gifts in his returns filed for the financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20. However, he rushed to declare one most expensive watch (costing over Rs101 million) that he retained in his tax returns for the financial year 2020-21, only when his retention of Toshakhana items became the biggest corruption scandal in the country.

In addition, his wife Bushra Bibi did not file any return during this period. In fact, she never filed a return in her entire life and she only got herself registered with the tax authorities of Pakistan in July 2021.

According to the Cabinet Division documents, Imran Khan paid a total of Rs38.17 million against the retained gifts worth Rs142.0421 million. He also retained gifts worth Rs800,200 for free, thus, not paying the legal 50pc retention cost of these precious gifts.

Another violation that Imran Khan made was that he took gifts home without depositing them in Toshakhana. Instead of buying gifted jewels from Toshakhana from his own pocket, the ex-prime minister first sold them in the open market and then deposited 20pc of each in the government treasury.

Most gifts were retained by then prime minister at 20pc of its value after his government amended the Toshakhana rules and settled the gift retention price at 50pc of its original value. Apparently, these gifts were never deposited in Toshakhana. A gift received by any government official is to be reported immediately, so its value is assessed. And afterwards, the recipient deposits a specific amount if they want to keep it.