Rejecting the backlash over his act of retaining state gifts he received during his prime ministership, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairperson Imran Khan has said that Pakistan Army officials get plots in DHA, but they are never questioned. “A [foreign] president sent me a gift which I retained after paying 50 per cent of its price,” the former prime minister said, adding, “my gift, my choice.”
Imran Khan reportedly expressed these views during an informal meeting with a group of journalists at his Bani Gala house in Islamabad.
ARY reporter Abdul Qadir quoted the former prime minister as saying that if he had planned on making money, he would have declared his house ‘camp office’.
Imran Khan has been under criticism after it emerged that he retained all gifts that were given to Pakistan by foreign dignitaries.
According to an investigative report by Fact Focus, the gifts retained by Imran Khan include a luxurious Rolex and other expensive watches, gold and diamond jewelry (which included several necklaces, bracelets, rings, multiple diamond chains), an expensive pen, cuff links worth millions, dinner sets and perfumes. The gifts were retained at throwaway prices, and not their actual value.
The prices of these items were assessed by the then government itself and not independently verified, which means the actual value of these gifts may be higher.
Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, as per the report, gifted Imran Khan an expensive watch worth Rs85 million during the former PM’s visit to Saudi Arabia in September 2018. This gift was worth Rs8 crore, but Khan retained it by paying Rs1 crore only. This watch gifted by the Saudi crown prince is said to be the most expensive gift Pakistan received in a long time.