Pakistan govt. makes public record of Toshakhana gifts; retainers include Shehbaz, Nawaz, Imran Khan, Zardari

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has for the first time made public details of foreign gifts retained by officials amidst the controversy over the Toshakhana gifts sold by former premier Imran Khan.
The details of Toshakhana or the state depository were revealed on Sunday on the website of the Cabinet Division, showing the gifts retained by former presidents, prime ministers, federal cabinet members, politicians, bureaucrats, retired generals, judges, and journalists from 2002 to 2022.
The 446-page document showed those who benefited include President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, former prime minister Imran Khan, ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, ex-president Asif Ali Zardari, late military dictator Pervez Musharraf, former premier Shaukat Aziz, ex-PM Yousuf Raza Gilani, ex-PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, ex-PM Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, ex-PM Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Khursheed Kasuri, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Jehangir Tarin, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Attaur Rehman among others.
The document showed that most of the gifts were retained by the office holders free of cost except for a few.
Zardari and Nawaz Sharif received one bulletproof vehicle each during their visits and retained them after paying some money to the Toshakhana.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and his wife received five precious wristwatches, ornaments, and other items.
Pervez Musharraf and Shaukat Aziz retained hundreds of foreign gifts without paying a penny.
In return for the gifts received from foreign dignitaries, these public office holders, especially the rulers, gave away gifts worth millions of rupees to the foreign delegates.
The details revealed that Zardari retained one BMW 760 Li white (security version) on January 26, 2009. The car’s value was fixed at Rs 27.3 million while the former president retained it after paying a little more than Rs 4 million.
In March 2011, he retained a wristwatch worth Rs 1 million after paying Rs 158,250 for the watch and some other items.
In June 2011, he retained a wristwatch worth Rs 1.25 million after paying a sum of Rs 189,219 for the watch and some other items.
In October 2011, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader retained a Cartier wristwatch worth Rs 1 million after making a payment of Rs 321,000 for the watch and a gun.
The PML-N supreme leader was gifted a Mercedes Benz car on April 20, 2008, worth Rs 4.25 million.
The former PM retained it after paying Rs 0.636 million, as per the document. The document did not mention in what capacity Sharif received the vehicle.
Khan received five precious wristwatches, including a Graff watch, worth Rs 3.8 million. He retained these gifts in October 2018 after paying a sum of Rs 0.754 million.
In September 2018, he retained a Graff wristwatch worth Rs 85 million, a pair of cufflinks worth Rs 5.6 million, a pen worth Rs 1.5 million, and a ring worth Rs 8.75 million after paying Rs 20 million for these items.
Another Rolex watch worth Rs 1.5 million soon followed and the former prime minister retained it after paying Rs 294,000 for the precious item.
In November 2018, Khan retained another Rolex wristwatch worth Rs 900,000 after paying a sum of Rs 338,600 for the watch and some other items.
In October 2019, he retained a boxed watch, assessed at Rs 1.9 million, after paying a sum of Rs 935,000.
In September 2020, the PTI leader retained another Rolex watch, assessed at Rs 4.4 million, after paying Rs 2.4 million for the watch and a number of other gifts.
In the same month, his wife Bushra Bibi kept a necklace worth Rs 10 million, a bracelet worth Rs 2.4 million, a ring worth Rs 2.8 million, and a pair of earrings worth Rs 1.85 million after paying a sum of Rs 9 million for these gifts.
President Dr. Arif Alvi’s wife, Samina Alvi, retained a necklace worth Rs 1.19 million in October 2019 after paying Rs 865,000 for it and other items in the jewellery box.
The president himself retained a Rolex wristwatch worth Rs 2.5 million in February 2022 after paying Rs 1.2 million.
Sheikh Rashid retained dozens of gifts, including two gold coins, on February 3, 2003, after paying a mere Rs 3,420.
Khurshid M Qasuri received several gifts in 2005 and retained these items free of cost.
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf retained a Graff wristwatch assessed at Rs 890,000 in November 2012 after paying a sum of Rs 218,000 for it and other items, as per the document.
The revelation came after Khan was disqualified last year by the Election Commission of Pakistan for hiding proceeds of the sale of state gifts.
Khan has been in the crosshairs for buying gifts, including an expensive Graff wristwatch he had received as the premier at a discounted price from the state depository called Toshakhana, and selling them for profit.
In his assets declarations, he is accused of concealing details of the gifts he retained from the Toshakhana – a repository where presents handed to government officials from foreign officials are kept.
Officials are legally allowed to retain gifts provided they pay a pre-assessed amount, typically a fraction of the value of the gift.
Khan demanded that all beneficiaries of such gifts should be made public.

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