Bizman claims Imran Khan govt sold USD 2m watch received as Toshakhana gift

Zahoor claimed that Farah Khan, a close friend of Khan's wife Bushra Bibi met with him in Dubai and was instantly interested because the luxury watches were "rare and priceless".


ANI | Updated: 16-11-2022 16:45 IST | Created: 16-11-2022 16:45 IST
Bizman claims Imran Khan govt sold USD 2m watch received as Toshakhana gift
PTI Chief imran Khan (File Image). Image Credit: ANI
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A Dubai-based businessman claimed that the former PTI government had in 2019 sold a Graff wristwatch gifted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to then Prime Minister Imran Khan for USD 2 million or about Rs 280 million, Dawn reported. The matter assumes significance as sale of Toshakhana gifts received by Imran Khan has become a national political issue.

The businessman Umar Farooq Zahoor claimed that Farah Khan, a close friend of Khan's wife Bushra Bibi, met with him in Dubai and was instantly interested because the luxury watches were "rare and priceless". "[She] told me the history of the watch and said that they were gifted to Imran Khan by the Saudi prince. She said she wanted to sell these on Imran and his wife's behalf," he said.

Zahoor recalled that he was in awe after seeing the watch because it was a "limited edition piece, very rare in the world". He said he got an appraisal of the watch done as well, according to Dawn. "They [the PTI] wanted to sell the watch for USD 4 to USD 5 million, but after negotiations, I purchased it for USD 2 million," he said, adding that the payments were made in cash on Farah Khan's insistence.

The Toshakhana issue over the sale of state gifts received by Imran Khan became a major sticking point in national politics after the Election Commission of Pakistan disqualified the PTI chief for making "false statements and incorrect declaration". "In March 2019, former accountability minister Shahzad Akbar said that he had a set of watches and if I was interested, I should reach out to Farah [Khan] (a close aide of Imran's wife Bushra Bibi) as she needed help and didn't have any asset buyer," Dawn quoted Zahoor as saying in an interview with Geo News.

But, Akbar denied that he had ever met or talked to Zahoor. In a late-night tweet on Tuesday, Akbar said, "It is sad that they are using a person against Imran Khan, whose citizenship has been revoked by Norway due to his crimes, who is wanted by Interpol, who has committed fraud in various countries and who has smuggled his daughters to Dubai using forged documents."

He also claimed that a "false case" had been registered on Zahoor's complaint last month in Islamabad's Secretariat police station against him and the entire team of a former FIA director who was investigating a money laundering case against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Akbar insisted that the FIR was lodged unlawfully since Zahoor was out of the country. Earlier on September 19, in the Toshakhana case hearing, Imran Khan's counsel Ali Zafar admitted that his client had sold at least four presents he had received during 2018-19.

"The gifts were sold for Rs 58 million and their receipts were enclosed with the income tax returns filed by my client," the lawyer informed the ECP. The gifts mentioned include a diamond MasterGraff Tourbillon Minute Repeater with Makkah map dial GM2751, diamond cufflinks with 2.12ct H IF and 2.11ct I IF round diamonds GR46899, a diamond gent's ring 7.20cts, VVSl rose gold pen set with pave diamonds and an enamel Makkah Map, Dawn reported.

Meanwhile, in August, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) filed the reference claiming that Khan had paid for only some items that he took home from the 'Toshakhana'. Still, most items that he took from the government treasure house were done so without paying for them. In the reference, it was alleged that Khan did not disclose the gifts he took and concealed the information in his statements, reported Geo news. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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