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ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Imran Khan responded to the Toshakhana controversy, saying that all purchases from the gift depository are on record and there is no wrongdoing.
Speaking to a private news channel about allegations regarding selling gifts from the Toshakhana, the former prme minister said that whatever he bought from the gift depository is on record and anyone with evidence of corruption should come forward.
“I thank God that after three years, all they have got against me is this Toshakhana gift scandal, which is already on record,” he said. “I deposited a gift sent by a president at my residence. Whatever I took from Toshakana is on record. I purchased the gifts after paying 50% of the cost,” he added.
He said that the PTI government changed the policy of retaining gifts and increased the price from 15% to 50%. “Had I wanted to make money, I would have declared my house as a camp office but I did not,” he added.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that Imran Khan sold Toshakhana gifts in Dubai worth Rs140 million and retained all of them either by paying a negligible amount or even without any payment.
Cases against Nawaz
Imran Khan said that the government led by PM Shehbaz Sharif is trying to close cases against PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif. He said that the recent transfers and postings in Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) point towards “engineering” by Shehbaz Sharif to close corruption cases against him and his brother.
The former prime minister said the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Raja Sultan was appointed after the establishment suggested his name.
The PTI chairman said a deadlock emerged on the appointment of the chief election commissioner. In light of the situation, the establishment suggested Sultan’s name. He said the CEC should be appointed through an independent body.
Farah Khan issue
When asked about corruption allegations against his wife’s friend Farah Khan, the PTI chief said that she had no official position or ministry and cannot exert influence on the government or bureaucracy. “How could she have taken money for appointments?” he asked.
PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz had alleged that Farah Khan, a friend of Bushra Bibi, received a huge sum of money for getting officers transferred and posted according to their choice, calling her the ‘mother of all scandals’ amounting to Rs6 billion.
Qazi Faez reference
The former PM admitted that filing a reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa was a mistake and that his government should have exercised restraint rather than going into direct confrontation with judiciary. He clarified that the reference was filed by then law ministry and he has “no personal enmity” with anyone.
He reiterated that his government was toppled through a foreign conspiracy with the help of local abettors when “the PTI government was about to put the country on the right track”. He maintained that no leader will be able to withstand the US pressure if this “foreign conspiracy is allowed to succeed.
He appealed to the nation to not accept the new rulers and suggested the formation of an independent body for the selection of a chief election commissioner. The PTI chairman also said that they should not have gotten into an unnecessary confrontation with the judiciary.