• Zardari, Nawaz retained bulletproof vehicles; Imran took multiple watches
• Most of the gifts acquired free of cost; millions of rupees spent on gifts given to foreign delegates
ISLAMABAD: The government on Sunday made public the details of foreign gifts retained by public office holders — presidents, prime ministers, federal cabinet members, politicians, bureaucrats, retired generals, judges and journalists from 2002 to 2022.
The details of Toshakhana were updated on the website of the Cabinet Division.
Prominent personalities who benefited from the Toshakhana gifts included President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, former prime minister Imran Khan, ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, ex-president Asif Ali Zardari, late military dictator Pervez Musharraf, former premier Shaukat Aziz, ex-PM Yousuf Raza Gilani, ex-PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, ex-PM Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, ex-PM Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Khursheed Kasuri, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Jehangir Tarin, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Dr Attaur Rehman among others.
As per the documents, most of the gifts were retained by the office holders free of cost except for a few ones.
Mr Zardari and Nawaz Sharif received one bulletproof vehicle each during their visits and retained these vehicles after paying some money to the Toshakhana.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and his wife received five precious wristwatches, ornaments and other items.
Pervez Musharraf and Shaukat Aziz retained hundreds of foreign gifts without paying a penny.
In return for the gifts received from foreign dignitaries, these public office holders, especially the rulers, gave away gifts worth millions of rupees to the foreign delegates.
Asif Ali Zardari
The details revealed that Mr Zardari retained one BMW 760 Li white (security version) on Jan 26, 2009. The value of the car was fixed at Rs27.3 million while the former president retained it after paying a little more than Rs4m.
In March 2011, he retained a wristwatch worth Rs1m after paying Rs158,250 for the watch and some other items.
In June 2011, he retained a wristwatch worth Rs1.25m after paying a sum of Rs189,219 for the watch and some other items.
In Oct 2011, the PPP leader retained a Cartier wristwatch worth Rs1m after making a payment of Rs321,000 for the watch and a gun.
The PML-N supreme leader was gifted a Mercedes Benz car on April 20, 2008 which was worth Rs4.25m.
The former PM retained it after paying Rs0.636m, as per the document. The document did not mention in what capacity Mr Sharif received the vehicle.
Mr Khan received five precious wristwatches, including a Graff watch, worth Rs3.8 million. He retained these gifts in Oct 2018 after paying a sum of Rs0.754m.
In September 2018, he retained a Graff wristwatch worth Rs85m, a pair of cufflinks worth Rs5.6m, a pen worth Rs1.5m, and a ring worth Rs8.75m after paying Rs20m for these items.
Another Rolex watch worth Rs1.5m soon followed and the former prime minister retained it after paying Rs294,000 for the precious item.
In November 2018, Imran Khan retained another Rolex wristwatch worth Rs900,000 after paying a sum of Rs338,600 for the watch and some other items.
In October 2019, he retained a boxed watch, assessed at Rs1.9m, after paying a sum of Rs935,000. In September 2020, Imran Khan retained another Rolex watch, assessed at Rs4.4m, after paying Rs2.4m for the watch and a number of other gifts.
In the same month, his wife Bushra Bibi kept a necklace worth Rs10m, a bracelet worth Rs2.4m, a ring worth Rs2.8m, and a pair of earrings worth Rs1.85m after paying a sum of Rs9m for these gifts.
President Dr Arif Alvi’s wife, Samina Alvi, retained a necklace worth Rs1.19m in October 2019 after paying Rs865,000 for it and other items in the jewellery box.
The president himself retained a Rolex wristwatch worth Rs2.5m in February 2022 after paying Rs1.2m.
Sheikh Rashid retained dozens of gifts, including two gold coins, on Feb 3, 2003, after paying a mere Rs3,420.
Khurshid M Qasuri received several gifts in 2005 and retained these items free of cost.
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf retained a Graff wristwatch assessed at Rs890,000 in November 2012 after paying a sum of Rs218,000 for it and other items.
Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2023
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