‘Mera tohfa, meri marzi,’ Imran Khan says on Toshakhana controversy

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ISLAMABAD: Ex-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 or not. “Mera tohfa, meri marzi [my gift, my choice],” the PTI chairman, who became the first prime minister to be ousted through the no-trust vote, told reporters during an informal conversation. The issue came to light last week when Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that Imran Khan, during his tenure, sold Toshakhana gifts in Dubai worth Rs140 million. According to reports, the former premier received 58 gifts worth more than Rs140 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 Toshakana is on record. I purchased the gifts after paying 50% of the cost,” Khan said. He said that the PTI government changed the policy of retaining gits and increased the price from 15% to 50%.”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 Director-General Major General Babar Iftikhar, in a press briefing on Thursday, had said that during the deadlock between the Opposition and the government, the PM Office had contacted the military leadership to help resolve the political crisis. “The army chief and the DG ISI visited the PM Office at their request to play the role of mediator.” Options of the no-confidence motion, PM’s resignation, and the dissolution of assemblies after withdrawal of the motion were discussed there, he had said, adding that the ex-prime minister had declared the third option as “acceptable”. In response to a question about the military.

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