The government claimed on Thursday that Rs980 million were spent on Imran Khan’s back-and-forth air travel from Prime Minister’s House to his private residence in Bani Gala.
Also, while refuting the stance of Imran Khan on Toshakhana gifts on Thursday, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said the articles might be retained but could not be sold for pecuniary benefits.
“As regards Toshakhana, Imran Khan has said ‘my gift, my choice’. Let me make it clear that the gifts belong to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, who can retain them but has no right to sell them in the markets,” she told the media persons here at a news conference.
Toshakhana is a department which keeps precious gifts received by the rulers, parliamentarians and others from heads of foreign government/state, and dignitaries as a goodwill gesture.
Marriyum said Imran Khan while being in the power, retained the Toshakhana gifts at 20 percent of their price, but sold them at four times higher price in the markets.
He retained a total of 58 gifts, including cufflinks, a ring and others, worth Rs142 million. It also included the famous wristwatch, which alone was sold for Rs180 million. All the expensive items were retained by Imran Khan prior to an increase in the percentage price of the Toshakhana gifts from 20 to 50, she pointed out.
She said Imran Khan’s income increased manifold due to selling the Toshakhana gifts. The assets raised through the gifts’ sale were much more precious than his entire life’s income. The increase in the income, she said, belied Imran Khan’s narrative on the Toshakhana.
“His deceit, hypocrisy and lies got fully exposed in the public,” the minister said.
She accused Imran Khan of misusing his authority for monetary benefits and said that in the first two months of his government, he made Rs85 million through the Toshakhana gifts, and a total of Rs142 million in four years by retaining total 58 gifts. The minister asked the PTI chairman to put the money trail of Toshakhana gifts before the nation, which needs answers about his corruption while being in power.
She said Imran Khan’s wife had filed her last tax return in the Federal Board of revenue in 2018, using her old name, and the PTI chairman should give an explanation for this too. As regards foreign funding, she said the Election Commission of Pakistan had formed a committee on the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s funding, but the PTI failed to raise a single objection during its proceedings.
Likewise, the ECP itself did not raise any objection over the PML-N’s funding, nor did the State Bank of Pakistan issue a statement on the matter, she added.
Marriyum said the action was being taken against those who were involved in the malicious campaign against the state institutions through robotic tweets. The tweets are being investigated and all the relevant authorities were making efforts to trace out the faceless tweeters, she added. The law would take its course where the authority was misused, she responded to another query.
“We have received information that some files were missing from the Prime Minister’s Office,” she said in response to another question. The minister said Imran Khan’s travel expenses from Banigala to the PM Office stood at millions of rupees. Marriyum said the journey of national development has started from where it had been halted in 2018.
The first ten days of Shehbaz Sharif as the prime minister reflected that Pakistan is moving towards progress and prosperity, she said in a statement.