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ISLAMABAD: Dr Shahbaz Gill, the chief of staff to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan Thursday rubbished the opposition’s claim that former premier illegally took away gifts given to him by foreign dignitaries. Speaking at a presser, he said that after the opposition did not find a single corruption case against the former prime minister, they have come up with the Toshakhana rumour, where there is no truth in it.

Gill said that “nothing is hidden” as all the gifts given to Khan during his stint in power are declared unlike his predecessors.

He said that after the new government could not find corruption charges against Khan or that he had misused his power to afford any developmental contract to his nephews or nieces or embezzled aid money, the only thing they could do was to lodge this baseless case of illegally taking gifts.

He said that the “imported” government was only providing half-baked truths, emphasizing that “by law, any prime minister could take back gifts given to him during his tenure” but, he underscored that a certain amount had to be paid before taking the gifts.

He maintained that it happened in the past, but “there are certain gifts which even the prime minister could not take home i.e. cars, etc.”

About the gifts received by the then prime minister Imran Khan, he noted that Imran Khan was gifted a car (Proton X70) from his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad, adding since the law does not permit the prime minister to take gifted cars from Toshakhana, the car was still parked at the Cabinet Division.

“If anybody wants to check, go see [as] it is still parked there”, he added.

He said that despite rule no prime minister and president can take a gifted vehicle home, Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif took cars with them from the Prime Minister’s Office by submitting 10 percent of the value of the gifts.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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