ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has received a reference from Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf for disqualification of PTI chairman Imran Khan for concealing toshakhana gifts, ARY NEWS reported.
The speaker sent the reference to the ECP a day back and stated that the former prime minister did not reveal the gifts taken from the toshakhana.
“Imran Khan did not mention the amount received by him after selling toshakhana gifts in his tax returns,” it said, demanding the ECP to disqualify Imran Khan under Article 62 (1) (f) of the Constitution.
According to sources, the speaker has sought an immediate hearing into the reference.
‘Imran sold foreign gifts’
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif recently accused PTI chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan of selling gifts received during foreign visits.
Prime Minister Sharif made these claims during a meeting with senior journalists at PM House last Friday.
“I can confirm you that Imran Khan took gifts worth Rs140 million from Toshakhana and sold them in Dubai,” he said, adding that valuable state gifts include diamond jewellery, bracelets and watches.
‘My gifts, my choice’
About the PML-N and rival party’s allegations regarding selling gifts from toshakhana, the former PM said that whatever he bought from toshakhana is on record and if anyone has an evidence regarding corruption, he should come forward.
“I thank God, that in three years (of rule), all they have got against me is this toshakhana gift scandal, which is already on record,” said Imran Khan.
He maintained that he was well within his right to buy those gifts according to law and he in fact changed the rules and made it mandatory for officials to pay at least 50 percent of the value of the gift which was 25 percent in the past.
“My gifts, my choice,” the former prime minister responded to the criticism over the Toshakhana’s state gifts.
What is the Toshakhana?
Established in 1974, Toshakhana is a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division and stores precious gifts given to rulers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats and officials by heads of other governments and states and foreign dignitaries as a goodwill gesture.
It has valuables ranging from bulletproof cars, gold-plated souvenirs and expensive paintings to watches, ornaments, rugs and swords.
As per the country’s law, any gift received from dignitaries of a foreign state must be put in the state depository or the Toshakhana.
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, Imran Khan and Yusuf Raza Gilani regarding gifts received by them during official tours.
Ex-PM Nawaz Sharif, former president Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gillani are named in a reference for allegedly obtaining luxury vehicles from the treasury by paying 15 percent of the actual price.