Lahore, August 9
Pakistan’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) believes that Imran Khan will certainly be disqualified in the Toshakhana petition as the former prime minister hid the amount received from the sale of gifts from foreign dignitaries in his asset declaration, a media report said on Tuesday.
Last week, a petition filed with the Election Commission of Pakistan on behalf of the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) alliance claimed that the cricketer-turned-politician took away most of the items from the Toshakhana or the state depository without payment as he allegedly did not disclose the gifts he took and concealed the information in his statements.
According to the petition, the ousted premier paid for only some of the items that he took home.
Khan, also Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, will certainly be disqualified for his “illegal and immoral act” of hiding in his assets millions of rupees he received from the sale of state gifts, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said on Monday.
“This is a two-plus-two case. He has done an illegal and immoral act and will be disqualified,” Sanaullah was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.
Accusing Khan of destroying Pakistan’s relations with foreign nations, Sanaullah stated that one of the watches gifted to the then-prime minister by a ruler was taken to a Dubai market on which Khan was asked: “whether it was stolen”.
“This was not only an illegal and immoral act, but it also affected Pakistan’s relations with that country,” he alleged.
He further referred to the precedent set by the disqualification of PML-N supremo and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and said: “A standard has been set by disqualifying Nawaz Sharif for not receiving salary from his son’s company. If he can be disqualified over it then Imran Khan is certain to face the same fate for not declaring millions of rupees in his assets that he got after selling the Toshakhana gifts.” The petition filed by the PDM demanded that the ECP disqualify Khan under sections 2 and 3 of Article 63 of the Constitution, read with Article 62(1) (f) which is the same provision under which former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified in 2017.
Another petition was filed against the PTI chief by a group of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) members of the national assembly seeking his disqualification from holding any public office as he allegedly received prohibited funds from a number of foreign donors.
PTI senior leader and former minister Pervaiz Khattak, commenting on the petition, said the conspiracy to oust Khan from politics would not succeed.
“Only the public can oust Khan from politics and no one else,” he said, arguing that there was no “concrete evidence” against the PTI chairman in the prohibited funding and Toshakhana cases.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in April this year, soon after the ouster of the PTI chief, said that Khan in “violation of the law” sold Toshakhana gifts - comprising diamond jewellery sets, bracelets, and wrist watches - worth Rs 140 million in Dubai.
The Election Commission, issuing a notice to Khan in connection with the reference, summoned him for a hearing on August 18.
According to Pakistani media reports, Khan had earned Rs 36 million from the sale of three expensive watches gifted by visiting dignitaries from friendly Gulf countries.
While responding to the Toshakana controversy earlier in April, Khan had said that those were his gifts, so it was his choice whether or not to keep them. “Mera Tohfa, Meri Marzi [my gift, my choice],” he had said.
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