Recent news reports from Pakistan have shown how corruption was at its peak under the previous government’s rule. According to a news report published on Wednesday, the former prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, allegedly made Rs 36 million by selling three watches that were gifts from foreign dignitaries to a local watch dealer illegally. Khan gained millions of rupees from these expensive watches during his prime ministership, according to information from an official investigation that was disclosed to Geo News. These watches are valued at over Rs 154 million. He received the watches as a gift from international leaders. According to the article, the then-prime minister kept the most costly watch, which was worth more than Rs 101 million, for 20% of its value after his government changed the Toshakhana rules and placed the gift retention price at 50% of its original value. According to Geo News, these watches were different from the sold Toshakhana gifts that the media had already reported. Under the Pakistani legislation, any present from foreign dignitaries needs to be deposited in the state depository or the Toshakhana. The cricketer-turned-politicians sold the watches and deposited 20 per cent of each sale in the govt treasury instead of purchasing the gifted jewel watches with his own money. These details were disclosed by the news reports along with paperwork and sale receipts as evidence. Toshakhana never got these gifts. Any gift received by a public official must be recorded right away so that its price can be determined. The recipient can only pay a certain sum if he wants to keep the presents after depositing them. According to Toshakhana documents, Khan made Rs 36 million from the sale of these three pricey watches that were gifted to him by officials from friendly Gulf nations. A big profit was made through the sale of a watch which was officially priced at Rs 101 million. It was a gift by a dignitary from the middle east. The 69-year-old leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) claimed that he earned Rs 31 million after selling the watch for Rs 51 million and depositing Rs 20 million in the national treasury. This shows that the watch was sold for only half of what it was worth. All the mentioned gifts were sold to a local watch dealer. The documentation includes images of these expensive watches as well as the sale receipts. In response to the Toshakana scandal, Khan had earlier stated that as these gifts were given to him personally, he could choose whether or not to keep them. In a casual exchange with reporters, the PTI chairman had said, “Mera tohfa, meri marzi (my gift, my choice)”. The problem came to light when Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Khan sold Toshakhana items in Dubai for Rs 140 million while in office.
Imran Khan says Sharif family is corrupt
During his three and a half-year tenure, the former PM reportedly received 58 presents totalling more than Rs 140 million from foreign leaders and kept all of them, either by paying a small sum or without payment. Khan on Tuesday criticized the existing coalition government for corruption and claimed that the only way to rebuild the economy was to return home half of the billions of dollars the Zardari and Sharif families had hidden overseas. The former prime minister reaffirmed his desire for free and open general elections, saying that this was the only way to help the nation escape its political turbulence. In his speech via video link, the PTI chairman questioned what disaster had struck the nation to cause inflation to rise and energy load shedding to make life miserable for the people in just two months, while the economy had collapsed and unemployment was rising. Khan made fun of the current Shehbaz Sharif administration, saying that since they were regarded as “extremely experienced,” they needed to come up with a plan to combat inflation or improve the economy. “For thirty years, two families have controlled the nation. They only accomplished one thing, the NRO-2 to shut down corruption cases totalling Rs. 1,100 billion against themselves, the former PM claimed. Khan claimed that despite pressure from the IMF, his government prevented a rise in the price of gasoline, diesel, and electricity.