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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Thursday negated the stance of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on Toshakhana gifts, while saying articles might be retained but could not be sold for pecuniary benefits.

While addressing the media regarding Toshakhana gifts, she said Imran Khan has said “my gift, my choice”. Let me make it clear that the gifts belong to the prime minister of Pakistan, who can retain them but has no right to sell them in the markets.

Marriyum said Imran Khan, while being in the power, retained the Toshakhana gifts at 20 per cent of their price, but sold them at four times higher in the markets. He retained total 58 gifts, including cufflinks, a ring and others, worth Rs142 million. It also included the famous wrist watch, which alone was sold for Rs180 million.

All the expensive items were retained by Imran Khan prior to increase in the percentage price of the Toshakhana gifts from 20 to 50, she pointed out.

She said Imran Khan’s income increased manifold due to selling of the Toshakhana gifts. The assets raised through the gifts’ sale were much more precious than his entire life income.

She accused Imran Khan of misusing his authority for monetary benefits and said in the first two months of his government, he made Rs85 million through the Toshakhana gifts, and total Rs142 million in four years after retaining total 58 gifts.

The minister asked the PTI chairman to put the money trail of Toshakhana gifts before the nation which needed answer about “his corruption” while being in the power.

She said Imran Khan’s wife had filed her last tax return in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in 2018, using her old name, and the PTI chairman should give explanation in that regard too.

As regards the foreign funding, she said the Election Commission of Pakistan had formed a committee on the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s funding, but the PTI failed to raise a single objection during its proceedings.

Likewise, the ECP itself did not raise any objection over the PML-N’s funding, nor the State Bank of Pakistan did issue a statement on the matter, she added.

Marriyum said action was being taken against those who were involved in the malicious campaign against the state institutions through “robotic tweets”.

Responding to a question, she said it was the nation who would decide to whom it would support - either to those who were distributing certificates of sedition or those who were working for the country’s progress and development.

To another question, she said we have received information that some files were missing from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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