Federal govt submits Toshakhana ‘classified’ gifts details in LHC

The federal government on Tuesday presented to the Lahore High Court (LHC) information about gifts given to Toshakhana that a senior official described as “classified,” adding that the decision to release the information was up to the court.

Initially, the administration had shown reluctance to submit the Toshakhana specifics, claiming that doing so could “harm the interests of Pakistan’s foreign relations.”

The government noted this concern during a case hearing on January 19.

In a hearing today, LHC Justice Asim Hafeez heard a petition filed by attorney Munir Ahmad through counsel Azhar Siddique asking the government to disclose all information regarding Toshakhana gifts that political leaders and bureaucrats have received from foreign dignitaries since Pakistan’s founding.

Deputy Attorney General Asad Bajwa presented the Toshakhana facts at the beginning of the session, notifying the court that they were classified, and said it was up to the court to decide whether to unseal the documents.

“We are not opening the sealed record for now,” Judge Hafeez retorted.

The court deferred the hearing till February 23 after receiving the record and summoning the head of the Toshakhana Department with an undertaking.