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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench on Monday expressed its dissatisfaction over the federal government’s inability to provide a complete record of Toshakhana articles from 1947 to 2001.

The bench posed a question, “What are we going to leave for our posterity?” and directed the law officer to ensure that the record is submitted without fail. The hearing was adjourned until the last week of May.

The bench was hearing an Intra Court Appeal (ICA) filed by the government that contested a single bench decision that had directed the government to disclose the source of gifts received from 1990 to 2023.

A law officer told the bench that the government did not have a complete Toshakhana record from 1947 to 1990. The bench found it unfortunate and questionable that the government had no record of state assets. The bench reminded the law officer that it was a matter of national interest and the government must produce the record. The bench warned the government that it might summon all responsible officers, including retired officials, to explain the lack of Toshakhana records.

On March 22, Justice Asim Hafeez had ordered the government to release a complete record of the Toshakhana articles from 1990 to 2001, along with details of gifts from foreign dignitaries and countries.

The government appealed stating that the single bench was seized with a petition seeking an order to declassify all information on Toshakhana gifts received by Pakistani dignitaries and government officials from foreign states. However, during the pendency of the petition, the federal cabinet decided to declassify the Toshakhana record from 2002 to 2023 without disclosing the source of gifts, believing that it would adversely affect the country’s relations with other nations.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Parvez Apr 18, 2023 03:08pm
When the SC has been disregarded by the government.....what does the LHC expect ?
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