The News reported that PTI Chairman Imran Khan sold three watches totaling Rs154 million to a local vendor. Toshakhana gifts scandal has surfaced again.
These watches were intended to be given to Toshakhana under laws that forbid heads of state to keep gifts from foreign officials.
An official inquiry shows Imran Khan made millions from jewel-class watches given to him by foreign dignitaries. These watches join the ones described earlier.
The most costly watch, at Rs101 million, was retained by the then-prime minister at 20% of its value after his government altered the Toshakhana laws to put the gift retention price at 50% of its original value.
Instead of buying the watches from Toshakhana himself, the ex-prime minister sold them and placed 20% of each into the national treasury, records and sale receipts show.
These contributions weren’t deposited in Toshakhana. Any government official’s gift must be disclosed and valued immediately. The recipient then deposits a certain amount to keep it.
Toshakhana paperwork show the former prime minister made Rs36 million from selling these three pricey watches. A Middle Eastern dignitary gave him a watch he sold for a huge profit. This watch costs Rs101 million. The former prime minister said he sold it for Rs51 million, invested Rs20 million, and made Rs31 million. The watch was sold for half its value.
This watch was sold on January 22, 2019, after the PTI government changed Toshakhana guidelines to retain 50% of a gift’s estimated value.
Imran Khan sold a Rolex Platinum watch presented by a Gulf king for Rs5.2 million. Official evaluators estimated this pricey present at Rs3.8 million under Toshakhana guidelines. He sold the watch for Rs4.5 million and placed Rs0.75 million in the government treasury. Two months after being gifted, he sold this watch in November 2018.
Another Rolex watch presented by a Gulf islander was sold for Rs1.8 million. This watch was worth Rs1.5 million. The former PM paid Rs0.29 million and made Rs1.5 million.
A local watch salesman bought all these gifts. The record includes sales receipts and photos of fancy watches. This writer called and messaged PTI leaders Fawad Chaudhry and Shahbaz Gill, but neither responded.
The News questioned Fawad Chaudhry and Shahbaz Gill, “Dear sir, PM Imran Khan sold three fine watches to a dealer in F-7, Islamabad. Several questions. Please respond.
1) Imran Khan kept one watch at 20% of its appraised value when his government lowered it to 50%. After your government changed Toshakhana guidelines in December 2018, this watch was kept in January 2019. Why were rules broken?
2) Imran Khan didn’t deposit the three watches at Toshakhana before selling them. Why did he hoard gifts? Reply. Your prompt response is valued.
Imran Khan claimed the Toshakanas were his gifts, so he could keep them or not.
PTI chairman: “My gift, my choice”
Shehbaz Sharif alleged Imran Khan sold Rs140 million in Toshakhana gifts in Dubai. According to sources, the former premier received 58 presents worth more than Rs140 million from international leaders during his three-and-a-half-year stint and kept them all by paying a tiny amount or not at all.
Former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said “selling one’s own assets (after buying them from Toshakhana) is not a criminal.” Imran Khan bought these goods and can now sell them. So it’s fine, he said.