The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday ordered the government to make public the record of Toshakhana gifts received by public office holders from foreign governments and dignitaries between 1990 and 2001 as well.

The high court’s directives came days after the government, under a previous order of the court, had made public the details of foreign gifts retained by public office holders — presidents, prime ministers, federal cabinet members, politicians, bureaucrats, retired generals, judges and journalists from 2002 to 2022.

Justice Asim Hafeez issued the orders today while presiding a hearing on a petition filed by Munir Ahmad through Advocate Azhar Siddique seeking the government to make public the complete details of Toshakhana gifts received by political rulers and bureaucrats from foreign dignitaries since the creation of Pakistan.

In the previous hearing, a day after the release of Toshakhana records from 2002 onwards, the high court had directed the law officer representing the government to “submit in chamber” the remaining record before 2002, including the names of those who gave those gifts.

During today’s hearing, the judge said that any gifts received by the country from friendly nations should also be made public, adding that nothing should be hidden.
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.

According to Toshakhana rules, gifts/presents and other such materials received by persons to whom these rules apply shall be reported to the Cabinet Division.