Imran Khan illegally received, sold seven more Toshakhana watches: new probe

Latest inquiry reveals former prime minister sold 10 expensive gifts at "considerably lower" prices

By
Arfa Feroz Zake
|
Awais Yousafzai
PTI founder Imran Khan leaves after appearing in the Supreme Court in Islamabad on July 24, 2023. — AFP

  • Ex-PM "kept and sold" 10 gifts without submitting to Toshakhana.
  • State gifts were purchased/retained at “considerably lower rates”.
  • Report states valuation of gifts retained found at much higher price.


A new National Accountability Bureau (NAB) inquiry report has revealed that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan, who has been convicted in a Toshakhana corruption case, had “illegally” received and sold seven watches linked to the state gift repository during his time as the prime minister.

The latest case of alleged corrupt practices against the deposed premier includes allegations of keeping and selling 10 expensive gifts without reporting them to the relevant authorities and submitting them to Toshakhana.

According to the laws, all the gifts received by the head of the state, first lady or the president should be registered to the state gift repository if they are worth more than Rs30,000.

The inquiry report revealed that Khan’s wife, Bushra Bibi, who is also a convict in the previous Toshakhana case, also received and retained a watch and jewellery, including a ring and a necklace, which were supposed to be deposited to the gift depository.

As per the fresh NAB report, the state gifts were purchased/retained at “considerably lower rates”.

“During the course of the inquiry, it was revealed that the value of luxury gift items was assessed in an unscrupulous and slipshod manner by a private appraiser […] was not even an industry expert and did not possess the required experience or expertise to make these assessments,” the report read.

One of the said gifts was a Graff watch set, whose sale was a “deliberate and coordinated effort” to provide undue benefit to the purchaser.

The said watch was sold to Mohammad Shafiq for Rs51,000,000 even before its retention. Even the retention cost of Rs20,000,000 was also paid by the same person to the staff of the Protocol section, and the remaining amount was given to the assistant protocol section.

The value of the gifted state items was later assessed through the Federal Board of Revenue, Ministry of Industries, and Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Traders and Exporters Association, and the assessment reports suggested that the valuation of the gifts retained had been found at a much higher price compared to the assessment done by the private appraiser.

After the report findings, NAB was authorised to conduct further probes against Khan and Bushra Bibi. Separate call-up notices had also been served to the PTI founder and his spouse, which they have challenged in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The court is set to hear Bushra Bibi’s appeal on June 4 and Khan’s appeal on June 24.

It may be noted that the former prime minister and his spouse had been convicted for corrupt practices related to the state gift repository in the infamous Toshakhana case. However, their sentences were later suspended by the IHC. Therefore, their appeals against the conviction are still pending in the court.