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Toshakhana Case: IHC orders return of gifts from those who took them home

IHC remarks gifts belong to the office, not supposed to be taken home

The Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) Justice Mian Gul Hassan has ordered to return the Toshakhana gifts from the individuals who took them home.

“People come and go but the Office of the Prime Minister remains at the same place. Every gift given [to the head of the state/government official] belongs to their office, not to be taken home,” Justice Hassan stated while hearing Cabinet Division’s petition challenging the Information Commission’s orders on the Toshakhana details.

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The Information Commission had directed providing Toshakhana gifts’ details to the complainant. However, the Cabinet Division upheld that exchanging gifts between heads of the states reflects inter-state relations. It added that revealing the details of these gifts can affect these relations.

Deputy Attorney General Arshad Kiyani appeared before the court representing the centre and sought an extension for receiving orders from the concerned authorities.

Advocate Rana Abid objected over the Cabinet Division’s plea, asking how a matter related to selling the Toshakhana gifts altered Pakistan’s reputation in the eyes of other countries.

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The court then ordered the provision of details of gifts received by former prime minister Imran Khan.

The court remarked that the Cabinet Division was bound to provide details. Justice Hassan observed that there was not anything wrong in keeping the gifts for oneself after they have been paid for, but only if it was done to a limited extent.

“The gifts are not only received, but given to the heads of other countries with the money collected through people’s taxes. Therefore, the incoming gifts should be kept as public property,” Justice Hassan remarked.

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