Toshakhana: The IHC Requests A Report On Gifts Received By Prime Ministers And Presidents Since 1947

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On Monday, the Islamabad High Court issued a summons to the Cabinet Division, demanding that it deliver a report within a month detailing the gifts that Pakistan’s prime ministers and presidents have received since the country’s foundation.

Abuzar Salman Niazi’s petition was heard by Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb of the IHC. The petitioner was represented in court by attorney Wasim Abid.

At the hearing, the petitioner’s lawyer said that the petitioner had requested information on foreign presents made to presidents and prime ministers, but that the Cabinet Division had refused to divulge the details on the grounds that the data was secret.

Five months after the Pakistan Information Commission’s judgement, the lawyer representing the petitioner claims that nothing has changed.

“Why stop at presidents and prime ministers and ignore the rest of the public servants? This demonstrates your intents “Justice Hassan made a statement. He went on to say that the prime minister is the only person to whom such a petition applies.

Syed Ahsan Raza, the Deputy Attorney General, was addressed by the court and given orders to provide the data if it existed in the government’s records.

When asked about the availability of such details, Raza said that they will be posted online but that data prior to 1990 would be missing.

The court has said that it is probable that Toshakhana’s records are accessible. It requested that, if the documents were accessible, they be made available.

The court then asked the Cabinet Division to provide a report in a month and adjourned the hearing.

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