- Security guards were gifted wristwatches in 2019.
- Most govt officials retained expensive, valuable gifts, record shows.
- 97% of gifts in Parvez Musharraf’s tenure were retained.
ISLAMABAD: Two lower-rank security officials — a constable and a sepoy — set an example by depositing their gifts in Toshakhana in 2019 when everyone including the prime minister, president and federal ministers were retaining gifts they received during their foreign tours.
According to the Toshakhana report released by the Cabinet Division, SSG gunman Sepoy Atiq ur Rehman and Constable Malik Qasim Mehmood were gifted wristwatches of Paul Picot in 2019, the assessed value of which was Rs120,000 each, The News reported Tuesday.
However, both security personnel deposited the gifts in Toshakhana. In December 2019, then-prime minister Imran Khan visited Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
The report has reflected several interesting incidents. One such example is former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi who was gifted a tractor, a motorcycle and a buffalo along with a calf. He declared the gifts but did not deposit those or paid the retention price.
A perusal of the report shows most of the government officials who received valuable and expensive gifts have retained them. Whereas, less valuable gifts have either been deposited in Toshakhana or auctioned by the government. More than 90% of the gifts reflected in the report were retained by the officials who received them during their foreign visits.
During former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s regime, 97% of gifts received by government officials including himself, then-prime minister, ministers, and military officials were retained. From 2002 to 2008, a total of 2,249 gifts were declared with Toshakhana out of which around 70 gifts were auctioned while the rest were retained by the officials.
The report shows that in 2002, a total of 257 gifts were declared with Toshakhana of which around a dozen were auctioned and the remaining gifts were retained by the officials. In 2003, 290 gifts were declared of which around 14 were auctioned and the rest of the gifts were retained.
The report further shows that in 2004, 350 gifts were declared of which only seven were auctioned; 475 gifts were declared in 2005 of which around eight were auctioned and the remaining were retained by government officials. In 2006, 381 gifts were declared of which around 20 were auctioned.
In 2007, a total of 381 gifts were declared of which around six were auctioned whereas the remaining gifts were retained by government officials. In 2008, 115 gifts were declared with Toshakhana of which very few were auctioned.
The top recipient of these gifts from 2002 to 2008 was Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf. Whereas some of the ministers during Musharraf’s regime including Jahangir Khan Tareen, Shaukat Aziz, Umar Ayub deposited most of the gifts in Toshakhana.