Pakistan PM Shehbaz calls Imran Khan ‘a certified thief’ after his disqualification in Toshakhana case

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Pakistan PM Shehbaz calls Imran Khan ‘a certified thief’ after his disqualification in Toshakhana case

Islamabad, Oct 22 (PTI): Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday tore into Imran Khan, describing the ex-premier as a “certified thief”, a day after his disqualification in the concealment of assets in the Toshakhana case.

Khan, 70, was disqualified on Friday by the Election Commission of Pakistan for failing to inform it about the money he received after selling the state gifts, also known as the Toshakhana case.

Addressing a news conference in Lahore, Prime Minister Sharif said Khan had been proven as a “certified liar and a thief”.

He, however, cautioned that this was not a moment of happiness, but one of “reflection”.

Talking about the gifts which Khan purchased at a discounted price from the state depository or Toshakhana and sold at hefty profits, Sharif said he should have auctioned the gifts and deposited the proceeds in the government treasury.

He said that he too had once received a letter from the Cabinet Division about being able to buy a state gift after paying a certain amount.

“I answered back to the letter saying, ‘No, thank you’ and deposited [the gift] in the Toshakhana,” he said.

Sharif said that the state gifts were now being displayed at the Prime Minister’s House to dispel the impression that they go missing.

He also accused Khan of building his Banigala house in the suburbs of Islamabad by violating the local laws and later on legalising it when he was in power.

Sharif also rejected the allegations by Khan that the former premier and his brother Nawaz Sharif were involved in his disqualification verdict.

The prime minister also congratulated Pakistan on its exit from the Financial Action Task Force’s grey list.

“I congratulate the whole nation from the depths of my heart,” he said.

Established in 1974, the Toshakhana is a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division and stores precious gifts given to rulers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, and officials by heads of other governments and states and foreign dignitaries.

Khan was ousted from power in April after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, which he alleged was part of a US-led conspiracy targeting him because of his independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China and Afghanistan.

The cricketer-turned-politician, who came to power in 2018, is the only Pakistani Prime Minister to be ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament. (PTI / HT)

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