The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday doubted the federal government over its hesitation to divulge details of the gifts provided to Head of state Imran Khan given that August 2018 when he assumed office.
The Pakistan Info Payment (IMAGE) had earlier accepted an application on the issue as well as routed the Cabinet Department to “supply the inquired concerning the gifts gotten by Prime Minister Imran Khan from foreign presidents, heads of federal governments and various other international dignitaries … description/specification of each present, information regarding the presents maintained by the head of state and also the policies under which gifts thus gotten are maintained by him”.
The Cupboard Department had actually opposed the request, taking the stance before the photo that this matter did not fall within the ambit of the Right of Accessibility to Information Act, 2017. Describing a letter dated April 4, 1993, that had stated the details of Toshakhana “classified/secret”, it had actually said that the info could not be requisitioned under the Access to Info Act.
Subsequently, the Closet Department had actually tested the order in a petition before the IHC, declaring that the PIC order was “prohibited, without eminent domain”. The government took the stance that disclosure of any type of info related to Toshakhana jeopardises global connections.
” Will you give [the details] of the presents given to Prime Minister Imran Khan or not?” Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb made inquiries from a federal government representative during Wednesday’s hearing on the matter.
Stating that details of particular products such as defence-related presents may not be revealed, the judge questioned why the limitation on making details public related to every present.
” What is the injury in making it public if some nation has given a pendant as a gift?” Justice Aurangzeb examined. “Why is the government dealing with shame by not divulging gifts gotten from other countries?”
He stated gifts gotten by rulers came from the nation as well as not to them, asking whether public officials would certainly also obtain those presents if the general public workplace did not exist.
” Why doesn’t the federal government keep all the presents in the museum? The federal government must make [details of] the gifts in the last 10 years public.”
He likewise said the federal government should inform how many presents had their valuation done by the Federal Board of Revenue.
The government representative at the hearing asked for time to respond after which the court adjourned the hearing for two weeks.
What is the Toshakhana?
Developed in 1974, Toshakhana is a department under the management control of the Closet Division and also shops valuable gifts given to leaders, parliamentarians, politicians and also authorities by heads of various other federal governments and states and also foreign dignitaries as a goodwill gesture.
It has prized possessions ranging from bulletproof autos, gold-plated mementos and also costly paints to watches, ornaments, carpets and also swords.
Toshakhana (Upkeep and Management )Rules, 1974(revised as much as 2012), are applied to the head of state, prime minister, Senate chairman as well as replacement chairman, National Assembly audio speaker and replacement speaker, federal priests, priests of state, members of parliament, federal government slaves as well as also staff members of self-governing and also semi-autonomous bodies, whether working or leave, serving in any kind of ability in connection with the affairs of the federal government or while on deputation with any other body, company, establishment or authority.
Under the rules, it is mandatory that presents of a particular value are transferred in Toshakhana. However, an authorities is likewise allowed to keep these gifts supplied they pay a particular percentage of the cost analyzed by the Toshakhana evaluation board.
According to Toshakhana policies, gifts/presents and other such products obtained by persons to whom these policies use shall be reported to the Closet Department, showing the nature and approximated value of the gifts. There need to not be any kind of excessive hold-up in reporting the receipt of such gifts and also those obtaining must deposit them with the federal government.