Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Leaders from the ruling coalition berated PTI Chairman Imran Khan after a Dubai-based businessman revealed that he had purchased the Toshakhana gifts given to the former prime minister by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.
The PTI leadership has threatened to take legal action against Umar Farooq Zahoor, the Dubai-based millionaire, for levelling "baseless" allegations against the party's chairman.
But after the startling revelations, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz asked Khan to not dodge the questions and provide receipts for the sale of the gifts.
"Who sold the watch, tell me the name. How was the money transferred to Pakistan," the PML-N leader said, adding that the PTI chief, who termed others as thieves, has turned out to be the "biggest thief" himself.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Attaullah Tarar hinted that the government would start criminal proceedings against the former prime minister in the Toshakhana case as per the order of Pakistan’s Election Commission of Pakistan.
“It is the only watch got prepared by the Saudi Crown Prince for gifting to Pakistan, so its price can’t be matched with other ones. Its unique dial is of Khana Ka’aba (Baitullah Sharif) shape,” he said while showing documentary evidence of the gift’s details and the price evaluation.
He said as per rules, any gift received from abroad was first deposited in the Toshakhana and later on another procedure of market evaluation was carried out if the recipient wanted to keep it. “But nothing such thing happened in this case.”
However, he said, as per the market evaluation that had been carried out in a thorough professional and technical way, its price stood at around $12 million, almost Rs1.7 billion at that time and now Rs2 billion.
The special assistant also said Khan bought the watch set at Rs20 million only, without adopting the laid down procedure. “And now, he [Imran] has confessed to committing two crimes which are buying and selling it.”
The PML-N leader regretted that the unique gift was not meant to sell in the open market as it was given as a gesture of great love and respect to Pakistan.
Tarar demanded the former premier to tender his resignation from the chairmanship of PTI as he had been declared a certified thief after selling the “made to order” watch in the market.
He believed that the gift given by the crown prince to Khan was for the people of Pakistan. He said that the government will also issue a red warrant for the return of Farah Gogi from the UAE.
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb heavily criticised Khan, asking him to decide when would he approach the court.
The PML-N leader asked questioned the PTI chief, asking if he received the wristwatch worth Rs20 million and sold it for Rs280 million. "Did Farah Gogi bring the money? Was the money declared?" she asked.
She asked the former prime minister to share the receipt of the gift on Twitter as well. "Imran Khan's handlers — Farah Gogi and Shahzad Akbar — have been caught," she added.
She said that Khan levels false allegations at others, and when he gets caught red-handed, the former premier terms them "baseless allegations".
The minister said that Khan did not respond to any notice of the Toshakhana case nor did he join any investigation.
— Additional input from APP