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Sunday, June 2, 2024

Ahsan Iqbal makes full payment for Toshakhana gifts in good faith

Ahsan Iqbal voluntarily paid the additional amount to dispel any misplaced allegation that he wrongfully benefitted from the gifts.

PML-N senior leader and Federal Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal deposited the entire assessed amount of the gifts that he retained from Toshakhana— when PML-N was in power in 2018.

According to the details, the senior PML-N leader wrote a letter to Cabinet Secretary Amir Ashraf Khawaja, stating that he had taken three gifts from Toshakhana — a Rolex gents watch, a Rolex ladies’ watch, and a carpet.

The assessed value of the men’s watch was Rs1,550,000, the women’s watch was Rs775,000, and the carpet was valued at Rs139,000. In return, he paid Rs304,000, Rs149,000, and Rs20,000 for the aforementioned items. Ahsan Iqbal deposited a payment of Rs1,991,000 to the national kitty through a cheque.

Read more: Ahsan Iqbal demands a probe into Parvez Elahi’s alleged audio leak

“Even though I am not required to make any additional payment for the same in good faith and in order to dispel any misplaced allegation or even an iota of doubt that I wrongfully benefitted from the gifts, I voluntarily pay the full price of the aforesaid articles,” Ahsan Iqbal said in the letter.

“There was nothing unlawful done but for the sake of dispelling any misgiving I have paid back the total value of the gifts which I retained,” Ahsan Iqbal later said on Twitter while sharing the letter he sent to the Cabinet Secretary.

On Sunday, the federal government released the record of the Toshakhana gifts received by state officials since 2002. The Toshakhana records created a storm in Pakistan as they exposed many public figures for wrongfully taking gifts or paying less amounts. The 446-page list contains, former prime ministers, presidents, ministers, bureaucrats, and even children of these officeholders.

PML-N has become the target of intense criticism by PTI as many PML-N leaders, including their family members have taken gifts from Toshakhana, for instance, Hussain Nawaz, son of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Hussain Nawaz retained a Rolex Watch despite never holding public office. Similarly, watches were also retained by the sons of former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Read more: Watches, cars and pineapples: Toshakhana records send Pakistan in frenzy!