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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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EditorialBad deal gifts

Bad deal gifts

Whatever defense the PTI supporters offer for the sale of gifts from the Toshakhana, Imran Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, owes the nation an explanation for their connection with a Pakistani businessman who resides in Dubai and the questions that have been raised as a result of his hard-hitting statements. The dealer, who has a dubious record, claims that Bushra Bibi’s friend Farah Khan, offered him gifts from Imran Khan, including an elegant wristwatch for about Rs280 million in April 2019. Umer Farooq Zahoor, a dealer headquartered in Dubai who is purportedly wanted in Turkey and Norway for financial crimes, asserts that he purchased them for $2 million and that the payment was made in cash. Umer Zahoor claims that Shahzad Akbar, Imran Khan’s accountability adviser, called him in 2019 and that Farah Khan then showed up at his workplace bearing gifts and demanded $5 million. A $2 million settlement was reached after negotiations. He claims that these presents were actually worth $120 million.

Let’s hear what the opposing side has to say. According to Imran Khan, Toshakhana’s watch was sold in Islamabad, and Toshakhana has the sales receipts and other documentation for all of the presents that were given away. He dismissed Umar Farooq’s claims as false and vowed to take legal action against the TV network and the anchor in a foreign court. Additionally, he questioned Yousaf Raza Gilani, Nawaz Sharif, and Asif Zardari about the Toshakhana cars and said the channel never covered their issue.

Let’s examine the legal aspect of the matter: as Imran Khan was previously disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan in the Toshakhana reference for making a false statement and an erroneous declaration, the dealer disclosures will not legally affect the case against Imran Khan. The Islamabad High Court is still deliberating the decision. Imran Khan obtained these things for his own use in a legal manner.

The issue does not present good optics in terms of moral politics and would damage Imran Khan politically as well as cast him in a negative light. By disclosing the details of how and to whom the watch and the other presents were sold, Imran Khan and his party may be held accountable. Unless he can produce evidence of selling goods to an Islamabad shopkeeper, his claims that he neither sold gifts to Umer Farooq Zahoor will lack any sufficient evidence. In the same vein, Umer Farooq Zahoor needs to back up his claims with facts. He currently possesses the most convincing evidence-possession of the gifts-but he should also present other proof of the transaction. If the government has sufficient evidence to bring legal action against Imran Khan, it should do so rather than make pronouncements. Imran Khan was mocked on Twitter by Maryam Nawaz, vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League (N), who said, “Don’t talk about the bush, take out the receipts.” When Pakistan’s rulers and other dignitaries travel abroad, the host nation also gives them gifts, which must be deposited in the Toshakhana in accordance with the law. The law also stipulates that if the recipient wishes to use the presents for personal purposes, he may do so by depositing the required amount in the government’s coffers. This advantage has previously benefited essentially all rulers. Pakistan’s rulers’ gifts to the country should be respected alongside one another. Even in tragedies like the recent floods, it appears appropriate to notify the involved country of its necessity and request permission. Their auction can result in numerous times of relief.

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