Toshakhana Controversy

Now Reading:

Toshakhana Controversy
Toshakhana Controversy

Toshakhana Controversy

PPP, PML-N leaders accuse Imran Khan of robbing Toshakhana, so why are they avoiding a similar reference against themselves

Islamabad: While leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are vociferously criticizing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief, Imran Khan, for “misusing” Toshakhana gifts, reports suggest that they have themselves been misusing similar gifts during their times in power and are now requesting the courts as well as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to drop cases against them.

Recently, an accountability court judge, Muhammad Bashir, sent back the Toshakhana Reference filed by NAB against former president Asif Ali Zardari, and former prime ministers Yousuf Raza Gilani and Nawaz Sharif, after these leaders applied for cancellation of those cases in light of the recent amendments made to the NAB Ordinance.

While hearing these applications, the judge noted that under the amended accountability laws, corruption charges worth less than Rs 500 million cannot be heard by the accountability courts. Since the cases against Zardari, Nawaz and Gilani involved amounts equal to or less than Rs 110 million, the judge ruled that the Toshakhana reference be sent to the “relevant authorities for prosecution”.

Toshakhana is a federal department which stores gifts given to Pakistani heads of state and government by other countries. The recipient can procure those gifts from Toshakhana for personal use by following certain procedures and paying a certain percentage of the market price of the concerned item.


In the references, which was filed during the PTI rule in March 2020, the PPP and PML-N leaders were accused of retaining vehicles from Toshakhana and paying Rs 110 million as their price from benami (fake or untraceable) accounts.

The reference was filed against the three leaders named above. In addition, owners of the Omni Group, namely Khawaja Anwar Majeed and Khawaja Abdul Ghani Majeed, were also named as suspects in the case.

NAB alleged that former president Asif Zardari, and former prime ministers, Nawaz Sharif and Yousuf Raza Gillani, had allegedly acquired three vehicles – a 2004 model BMW 750 Long Injected (LI), a 2007 model Toyota Lexus Jeep 472, both gifted by the United Arab Emirates, and a 2008 model BMW 760 LI, gifted by Libya – from the state treasury in violation of rules.

According to the reference, former president Zardari and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif obtained cars from Toshakana by paying 15% of their market value. It alleged that former prime minister Gillani facilitated the two leaders to obtain these vehicles from Toshakhana by “illegally” relaxing rules for the acceptance and disposal of sovereign gifts. According to rules, “gifted vehicles shall not be allowed to be purchased by the recipients, and be given to the Central Pool of Cars of the Cabinet Division.” NAB further claimed that then prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani facilitated PML-N’s Nawaz Sharif to get cars from Toshakhana even though he was not holding any official position in the government.

In May 2020, when former prime minister Nawaz Sharif failed to appear before the accountability court, his arrest warrants were issued. Later in September, all three respondents in the case were declared proclaimed offenders. In October, the court declared Nawaz Sharif as an absconder in the case and ordered confiscation of his property.

According to the gift depository rules, presidents and prime ministers are required to deposit any gifts they receive from other countries in the Toshakhana as these gifts are the property of the state, and can only be sold in an open auction. Rules do allow officials to retain any of those gifts. Items having a market value of less than Rs 10,000 can be had by the recipient state functionary without paying anything. Items with a higher market value can be had acquired on various percentages of the market price, as provided in the rules.


Catch all the National Nerve News, Breaking News Event and Latest News Updates on The BOL News

Download The BOL News App to get the Daily News Update & Live News.

End of Article
More Newspaper Articles
President’s Powers
A Prodigal Affair
The Law of the Jungle
The Jail Movement
Another Hearing, Another Date
Curse of Karo-kari

Next Story

How Would You Like to Open this News?

How Would You Like to Open this News?

Would you like me to read the next story for you. Master?