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Govt asked to produce records of Toshakhana from 1947 to 2001

April 10, 2023 11:58 PM


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 The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday ordered the federal government to produce the records of Toshakhana from 1947 to 2001, reported the 24NewsHD TV channel. 

A two-member bench consisting of Justice Shahid Bilal Hasan and Justice Muhammad Raza Qureshi heard the intra-court appeal of the federal government, in which the single bench's decision to make public the details of Tosha Khana from 1990 to 2001 was challenged.

The federal government challenged the orders to make the complete record of Toshakhana gifts received by public office holders from 1990 to 2001 public.

The government challenged the orders through the additional attorney general (AAG).

Taking up the plea, a two-member bench asked the AAG about the grounds for the government's plea.

At this, AAG Nasr Ahmad informed the court that the bench had ordered to make the names of individuals who gave the gifts public.

"The government itself released the Toshakhana records from 2002 and onwards," he said.

He, however, said that the names of those who gave the gifts weren't made public to avoid destroying foreign relations.

The AAG further stated that the government had uploaded all the details on the official website but wanted relief to the extent of revealing the names.

At this, Justice Qureshi asked whether those people were declaring what they had been gifted or not.

"We are also bound to declare it if anyone gives us a gift," Justice Bilal remarked.

 At this, the AAG maintained that if anyone is representing a state then he is supposed to declare the gift. He said that the government wasn't trying to hide the records but the records before 2002 are not computerized and verified.

Later, the court sought records from 1947 to 2001, while issuing notice to the petitioner of the initial case seeking the Toshakhana records, for next Monday (April 17). 

On March 22, a single bench of LHC ordered the government to make the complete record of Toshakhana gifts from 1990 to 2001 public.

Established in 1974, the Tosha­khana is a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division and stores precious gifts given to rulers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, and officials by heads of other governments and states and foreign dignitaries.

On March 12, the federal government declassified the Toshakhana records and uploaded the 466-page data from 2002 to 2023 on the Cabinet Division’s website.

Those who acquired gifts from Toshakhana include former presidents, prime ministers, ministers and government officers.

The names that appeared in the publicized Toshakhan records included Pervez Musharraf, Shaukat Aziz, Yousaf Raza Gillani, Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan, Arif Alvi and Shehbaz Sharif.

The Toshakhana controversy caught media attention after former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was accused of hiding details of the gifts he received during his tenure in the government.

Reporter: Malik Ashraf 



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