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LHC seeks Toshakhana gifts’ record, affidavit

Imran seeks to withdraw appeal against disqualification

Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday sought a record of Toshakhana gifts along with an affidavit within two weeks.

Justice Asim Hafeez passed the orders while hearing a petition filed by Advocate Munir Ahmad seeking complete details of Toshakhana gifts received by the rulers and the bureaucrats from foreign dignitaries since the creation of Pakistan. During the proceedings, the court addressed Additional Attorney General (AAG) Nasr Ahmad and questioned what was his stance on declaring the details of Toshakhana gifts as secret. The AAG submitted that a reply had been filed on behalf of the secretary Cabinet Division. He submitted that Toshakhana was transferred to the Cabinet Division from Foreign Affairs Ministry in 1973, adding that the gifts were not given by Pakistani nationals.

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At this stage, the court questioned that, since the gifts were sold, how they could be considered as classified. The court would not pass orders for making the details of Toshakhana gifts public if it was satisfied with reasons for not disclosing the information, it added. The court further held that it might also draw a line about what information should be provided and what not, besides seeking an affidavit from relevant authorities as to why the information of Toshakhana gifts was classified. To a court query, the additional attorney general sought time for submitting the affidavit.

The court directed the AAG to provide the record of Toshakhana gifts along with the affidavit, adding that the matter would be heard in camera. Subsequently, the court adjourned further proceedings till February 7 and sought an affidavit from the Toshakhana head within two weeks as to why the information of Toshakhana gifts was classified.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s Chief Imran Khan on Thursday requested the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to grant him permission for withdrawal of his appeal against his disqualification in Toshakhana case.

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The court, however, clubbed the miscellaneous application of PTI’s chief with his main case. Imran Khan’s lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar argued that an identical case was already pending with the Lahore High Court (LHC) due to which they wanted to withdraw case from IHC. Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, hearing the matter, said that the main case was fixed for hearing on January 25, adding that the respondents had expressed reservations against the case. The court said that it would hear the petitions together as other respondents would also be in attendance on next hearing. The further hearing of the case was adjourned. It may be mentioned here that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had disqualified the PTI’s chief for hiding information from the institution regarding the gifts received from Toshakhana.


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