Pakistan: ‘Abolish the sacred cow’; PTI demands release of Toshakhana records of generals, judges


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader Fawad Chaudhry on Monday released a video statement seeking details of foreign gifts retained by military generals and judges.

The demand comes a day after the federal government made the 466-page record of Toshakhana (gift depository) from 2002 to 2023 public by uploading it on the official website of the Cabinet Division on the instructions of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

It may also be noted that previously, the federal government had submitted details of Toshakhana gifts to the Lahore High Court (LHC) in February after many delays, but only after terming them “classified”, telling the court that it was at its discretion to unseal the documents.

Still noteworthy is that in the record made public last night, only the details of public office holders from 2002 have been revealed, while the record sought at the high court dates from 1947 till date.

Praising the LHC judge for his intervention, Fawad welcomed the record’s release nonetheless.

“The Toshakhana list is before us, and we can see how the Nawaz Sharif family and the Zardari family robbed the Toshakhana,” the PTI leader said that the record was “yet another proof” of the corruption of the PTI’spolitical rivals.

“They had been attacking Imran Khan and [his wife] Bushra Bibi with advertisements worth billions,” he continued, “turns out they were themselves the guilty party”.

“Of these people, if there was anyone who followed the legal path to acquire the gifts, it was Imran Khan,” Fawad maintained. He also claimed that the PTI chief and his wife had acquired the smallest number of gifts from the repository.

“The true misuse of the Toshakhana was how Nawaz Sharif and Zardari took out cars from there,” he added alleging that the price paid for the luxury vehicles was mere “pennies” compared to their original worth in a “blatant violation” of the rules.

“I also believe that this list is still incomplete”, he continued, “the list starts from 2002 and we should at least see the list since 1988.”

“Furthermore, the gifts received by generals and judges should also be included,” he said, demanding an end to “the idea of the sacred cow”.

He also requested the LHC to form an independent commission to probe into the Toshakhana record and verify whether the gifts were bought and kept legally.

Furthermore, Fawad demanded an apology from his political rivals, particularly the PML-N for spreading “propaganda” against the PTI chief and his