ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau has summoned Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi on March 9 to record their statements in a reference regarding Toshakhana gifts.
The bureau also summoned some other PTI leaders, including Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former defence minister Pervez Khattak and ex-information minister Fawad Chaudhry, in separate cases.
Interestingly, the NAB call-up notice, signed by its additional director Mohammad Faisal Qureshi and sent to the former prime minister’s Banigala residence, was issued on Feb 17 — five days before NAB chairman Aftab Sultan resigned claiming that he was being pressurised to file cases against some and favour some accused.
The NAB letter addressed to Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi and other accused in the Toshakhana case said: “The competent authority has taken cognisance of an offence allegedly committed by the accused persons under the provisions of NAO, 1999. In this regard, the inquiry proceedings have revealed that during your tenure in office you retained some state gifts presented to you by various foreign dignitaries including the following luxury items — five Rolex wristwatches; one iPhone presented by Chief of Staff, Qatar Armed Forces, dated 14.11.2018; (No. E67574V3), a pair of cufflinks, one ring; unstitched cloth of pant coat from Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia dated 18.09.2020; Graff gift set containing one Graff wristwatch Master Graff Special Edition Mecca timepiece, one 18K gold and diamond Graff pen and a ring and pair of cufflinks with micro-painting of Mecca.”
The letter further said: “You are therefore requested to join the inquiry proceedings before the Combined Investigation Team (CIT), NAB (Rawalpindi/Islamabad), Civic Centre, G-6, Islamabad, at 1430hrs on 09.03.2023 for recording of your statement.”
In the Toshakhana case, the former prime minister was accused of purchasing foreign gifts at throwaway prices and then selling them for millions of rupees.
NAB had already summoned Bushra Bibi’s close friend Farhat Shahzadi alias Farah Gogi, along with her husband and 19 others, in an assets-beyond-means case, but she escaped abroad. The inquiry against the former first lady’s friend was launched in April last year over allegations of amassing assets beyond known sources of income, money laundering and maintaining various accounts.
According to a senior official of NAB, the anti-graft watchdog has summoned Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Pervez Khattak on March 7 and 8, respectively. NAB has also issued a call-up notice to Fawad Chaudhry.
Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2023