LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday summoned minutes of the federal cabinet meeting that decided to public the details of the Toshakhana articles acquired by various personalities since 2002.

The court was hearing a petition of a citizen, Munir Ahmad, seeking complete details of Toshakhana gifts received by rulers and bureaucrats from foreign dignitaries since the creation of Pakistan.

The court directed a law officer to submit in chamber the remaining record of before 2002 including the names of the gift givers.

The court observed that an appropriate order would be passed after going through the record and rose till March 21.

Earlier, a law officer submitted a report before the court saying the federal government released the 466-page record of the Toshakhana on the cabinet website.

The law officer said the cabinet decided to release the record of the Toshakhana to the extent of the retainers of the gift items.

The petitioner’s counsel alleged that the record released by the government might have been altered.

Previously, a section officer of the cabinet division had produced the sealed record of the Toshakhana articles from 2002 onwards.

A report filed by the cabinet revealed that the prime minister`s office, through a notification issued on November 26, 2015, had declared that information pertaining to the Toshakhana gifts was classified and disclosure of such information could`cause damage to the interests of Pakistan in the conduct of international relations.

The petitioner through the counsel argued that right to information was an integral part of a progressive democratic state and right to information in all matters of public importance is indisputably a fundamental right guaranteed under the Constitution.

The petitioner asked the court to direct the respondents to public the details of Toshakhana.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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