Advertising

Shahbaz Gill responds to allegations against Khan in Toshakhana case

Shahbaz Gill further added that the new government was only providing half-baked truths, emphasizing that "by law, any Prime Minister could take back gifts given to him during his tenure" however, he underscored that a certain amount had to be paid before taking the gifts.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
 

Former Special Assistant to Prime Minister Shahbaz Gill, responding to the allegations hurled at the deposed Prime Minister Imran Khan for illegally taking gifts given to the Prime Minister during his tenure, said that “nothing is hidden.” 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 from the Prime Minister.

Shahbaz Gill further added that the new government was only providing half-baked truths, emphasizing that “by law, any Prime Minister could take back gifts given to him during his tenure” however, he underscored that a certain amount had to be paid before taking the gifts. He maintained that this has happened in the past; however, he added that “there are certain gifts that even the prime minister can not take home; cars, for example.”

Read More: Toshakhana case: Zardari challenges confiscation of BMW, Lexus vehicles

Talking about the gifts received by the Prime Minister he noted that the former Prime Minister was gifted a car (Proton X70) from his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad and added that because the law did not allow the PM to take gifted cars from the Toshakhana, the car was “still parked in the cabinet division and if anybody wants to check go see it its still parked there”. He further added that despite the law “Zardari and Nawaz Sharif both took cars with them from the Prime Minister office by submitting ten percent of the value of the gift.”

Addressing the press conference, Shahbaz Gill further clarified that during the tenure of the PML-N and the PPP, the Prime Minister could own the gift awarded to the then Prime Minister by submitting ten percent of the value of the gift; he added that this was racked up to 15 percent by 2018. However, he underscored that “Imran Khan, before taking the gift for himself, revised the old law and took the figure up to 50 percent, after which he submitted 50 percent of the value (calculated by an independent bureaucratic body) before taking the gift for himself.” Gill further added that “Imran Khan even declared these items in his asset declarations.” Moreover, Shahbaz clarified that “everything which Imran Khan received at the PM office or at his residence during his tenure as the PM was submitted to the Toshakhana after which senior bureaucrats assessed the value of individual items.” “If you think they intentionally undervalued the items, lodge cases against them” he said.

Read More: Imran Khan’s Toshakhana gifts be made public: IHC

On Wednesday, the Islamabad High Court gave an observation in which they maintained that the Toshakhana gifts home by individuals should be given back. IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb observed, “The gifts given to the government of Pakistan go to the office. These gifts are not meant to be taken home,”. He further added, “People come and go but the Prime Minister’s Office remains. It should not have been the policy of taking a gift home by paying a certain percentage of money,”

The Toshakhana case gained attention after the Pakistan Information Commission accepted an application and directed the Cabinet Division to present information about the gifts received by then prime minister Imran Khan.

Earlier this week, responding to the allegation leveled against him, PTI chairman Imran Khan said “Mera Tohfa, Meri Marzi [my gift, my choice],”