PTI Refutes Businessman’s Allegations That He Received Gifts From Toshakhana
November 16, 2022 / By Zunair Tahir / Pakistan News
Leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) went on the attack on Wednesday, attacking accusations made by a businessman residing in Dubai named Umar Farooq Zahoor that he had purchased the Toshakhana presents delivered to the ousted prime minister Imran Khan during his time in office.
The PTI leaders described Zahoor as a “wanted” and “notorious” individual.
A day earlier, Zahoor came to light and claimed that he had purchased some of the state gifts, including an expensive Graff wristwatch worth at least Rs2 billion, from Farah Gogi and Shahzad Akbar. This is when the accusations of misuse of the Toshakhana (gift depository) against former prime minister Imran Khan took an unusual turn.
Zahoor said in an interview with a private TV network that he had paid $2 million for the pricey things that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had given to the PTI leader.
He had also claimed that Shahzad Akbar, the previous premier’s accountability adviser, had been in touch with him in 2019 to offer to sell him watches, rings, and other presents. He said that he also has proof to support the assertions he was making.
The businessman continued to claim that after he failed to comply with the requests of his ex-wife Sophia Mirza, he was thereafter subjected to blackmail and fictitious money laundering charges were filed against him by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) under Akbar’s direction.
He said that Farah Khan “brought the gifts to my office in Dubai and informed me that the goods had been handed to Imran Khan by the Saudi crown prince,” adding that he was persuaded to purchase them after he confirmed through his sources.
In a news conference, PTI leaders Fawad Chaudhry, Shireen Mazari, and Zulfi Bukhari refuted Zahoor’s allegations and said that the PTI leader was innocent of any wrongdoing.
The PTI has always opposed corruption in Pakistan, according to Fawad. He remarked, “We hold ourselves and others accountable just as equally.
He acknowledged that when Imran Khan visited Saudi Arabia for the first time in 2018, the King gave him a watch.
The chief of protocol receives the presents; the prime minister has no involvement in these affairs, according to Fawad. He said, “The pricing of these presents are then decided by the Toshakhana, which regularly submits them to the concerned Prime Minister’s Office with it being clearly stated what the worth of each item is.
This law had existed before to the PTI government’s mandate, according to Fawad. In actuality, the state was originally only to receive 20% of the purchase price, but our government increased that to 50% so that the national treasury would benefit.
Fawad stated that the chief protocol of the Foreign Office had received the watch. He said, “This present was deposited in the repository of the Cabinet Division by the same official.
Imran later sold the gift for Rs57 million “in the Pakistani market,” according to Fawad, who also noted that capital gain tax was paid for that appropriately, as mentioned in Imran Khan’s tax returns and as declared to the Election Commission.
“The evaluation of the watch set by the Cabinet Division had roughly been Rs 0.1 billion, and 20% of that price was paid whereby this gift became Imran Khan’s personal possession,” he said.
The watch “was not sold to Umar Farooq Zahoor,” according to Fawad, and “Farah Bibi had nothing to do with the affair.” The former minister continued by saying that the party will sue the businessman in England.
Zulfi Bukhari further stated that the watch had been purchased by a “dealer,” who “subsequently sold the set to someone else, possibly to the said person, for Rs61 million,” according to my sources.
Additionally, he stated that the “dealer is currently out of the country and on the run,” but he also made the assurance that “the lie will be unearthed” and that the “dealer will be brought before everyone.”
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