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Pakistan’s new under-$300 gift policy as Toshakhana records expose politicians

Pakistan banned its presidents, prime ministers, cabinet members, judges, civil and military officers from buying gifts that cost over $300 under the new Toshakhana policy, the country’s media reported.

The new “Toshakhana Procedure for the Acceptance and Disposal of Gifts, 2023” is a fresh set of guidelines for ministries and divisions to adhere to amid the infamous case involving former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has been accused of selling gifts he received as the country’s premier for huge profits.

Under the new policy, a ban has been imposed on gifts such as vehicles, watches, and jewelry worth millions for high-ranking officials, including the president, prime minister and cabinet members, among others.

“Gift(s) valuing upto $300 shall be allowed to be retained by the recipient after due payments as per its assessed market value,” the memo said. “The gift(s) exceeding this monetory (sic) limit shall straightaway become state/Toshakhana property to be deposited and disposed of according to Toshakhana Procedure.”

Grade 1 to grade 4 employees will be able to receive cash as gifts from foreign dignitaries, it added.

The new policy also prohibits government functionaries from receiving gifts for their spouses or their family members.

The Pakistan government on Sunday declassified the Toshakhana records and uploaded the 466 pages of data from 2002 to 2023 on the Cabinet Division’s website listing the names of leaders who acquired gifts from the Toshakhana, including former presidents, prime ministers, ministers and government officers.

The names that appeared in the publicised Toshakhan records include those of Pervez Musharraf, Shaukat Aziz, Yousaf Raza Gillani, Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan, Arif Alvi and Shehbaz Sharif.

Source : IndiaToday