Toshakhana Case: Imran Khan’s Disqualification Triggers Protests In Pakistan

What may come across a bizarre set of accusations, Imran Khan allegedly sold gifts received from foreign dignitaries during his tenure as the country’s premier.

| Updated: 22 October, 2022 6:02 pm IST
Pakistan PM Imran Khan

Ever since 131 lawmakers from Tehreek-e-Insaf resigned in April following the ouster of Imran Khan as the Prime Minister, Pakistan’s political scenario has been shakier than every before. In a fresh turn of events, the Pakistani Election Commission has barred Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief Imran Khan from contesting elections and holding office for the next five years. The reason behind this is a bizarre set of accusations.

The disqualification notice was issued by the Pakistan election commission body in what is being called the Toshakhana case. the state’s repository is called the Toshkhana. Khan allegedly hid proceeds from the sale of gifts he received from foreign dignitaries.  Following the poll body’s decision, protests erupted across Pakistan with Imran Khan’s supporters taking to the streets in major cities. Angry PTI workers blocked the main highway in Peshawar.

Khan on Saturday sought the intervention of the Islamabad High Court and reverse the  election body’s decision to disqualify him from holding public office for five years.

Reportedly, during his tenure,  the cricketer-turned-politician got 31 presents between July 2018 and June 2019 but only paid for four of them. Allegedly he failed to reveal the proceeds from the sale of gifts that he purchased at a discounted price from “Toshakhana”.

This  poll body’s decision comes in the aftermath of PTI winning six out of eight National Assembly (NA) seats in the by-elections on October 16. In seven of these seat the PTI chief Imran Khan was contesting against Muslim League-Nawaz

The official  handle of PTI tweeted: “After Moody’s now Fitch has downgraded Pakistan’s credit rating to CCC+. When the focus will be how to stop Imran Khan, these things will keep happening.”

For October 16 elections, Khan’s decided to contest these seats with the aim of  aimed at not only preventing the ruling coalition from winning these seats but also to make the point that he is the only national leader who is capable of winning from anywhere in Pakistan. However, in his attempt to prove that brand Imran Khan remains the first choice of the electorate, the PTI chairman may have exposed his party’s several weaknesses. Barrister Syed Ali Zafar Khan tweeted: “Detailed ECP order of Toshakahna Case further reveals that disqualification of Imran Khan is based on total misconceived jurisdiction by ECP & on NO grounds. It is nothing less than absurd and is entirely contrary to the law and constitution of Pakistan!!(sic)”

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