The Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the federal government on Wednesday to make public the details of gifts received by former prime minister Imran Khan during his time as the premier.
Hearing a petition challenging the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s decision to keep the details of these gifts secret, the IHC ordered the federal government to submit its response within two weeks.
The IHC also said that the information regarding the gifts should be shared with the petitioner since there was no stay order regarding making the information about these gifts public.
The IHC remarked that there should not be any policy of buying these state gifts after paying a meagre sum. “Such a policy means that these gifts are on sale,” the judge added.
According to Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb, the gifts given to the government officials by the foreign governments belong to the state of Pakistan not some individuals. “These gifts are not meant for taking home,” he said, adding that these gifts should be recovered if someone had taken them home.
Read IHC hints at keeping foreign gifts in museum
“Individuals come and go but the office of the prime minister of Pakistan is permanent,” the IHC judge added. Justice Aurangzeb said if there was a need for constitutional interpretation regarding these gifts then the IHC was willing to help.
The deputy attorney general asked the high court for more time because of the new government. He said the Establishment Division was in contact with the government and as soon as directives are issued the court would be informed.
Justice Aurangzeb said the government should formulate a policy that would be acceptable to everyone.
These gifts should be placed in museums or art councils, he said, adding that information regarding the sent and received gifts should be shared. He added that the issue did not concern an individual but the PM’s office.