'Mera tohfa, meri marzi': Imran on Toshakhana controversy
Islamabad, April 18 (IANS) Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday responded to the Toshakana controversy and said they were his gifts, so it was his choice whether to keep them, media reports said.
"'Mera tohfa, meri marzi' [my gift, my choice]," the PTI chairman, who became the first Pakistan Prime Minister to be ousted through a no-trust vote, told reporters during an informal conversation, Geo News reported.
The issue came to light last week when Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that Imran Khan, during his tenure, sold Toshakhana gifts worth Rs 140 million in Dubai.
According to reports, the former premier received 58 gifts worth more than Rs 140 million from the world leaders during his three-and-a-half-year stint and retained all of them either by paying a negligible amount, or even without any payment.
"I deposited a gift sent by a president at my residence. Whatever I took from the Toshakana is on record. I purchased the gifts after paying 50 per cent of the cost," Khan said, Geo News reported.
He said that the PTI government changed the policy of retaining gifts and increased the cost from 15 per cent to 50 per cent.
"Had I wanted to make money, I would have declared my house as a camp office, but I did not," he added.
The former Prime Minister insisted that the establishment gave him three options, contradicting the Pakistan military's statement that the options were not put forth by it.
Khan's comments came after the Director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations, Major General Babar Iftikhar, said in a press briefing last week that during the deadlock between the Opposition and the government, the PM Office had contacted the military leadership to help resolve the political crisis.