Toshakhana gifts:Lahore High Court seeks details of all recipients

LAHORE (INP): The Lahore High Court on Monday sought details of all recipients, who have retained gifts from the Toshakhana from 1947 till date.
Lahore High Court (LHC) Justice Asim Hafeez issued the order while hearing a petition filed by a citizen named Munir Ahmed through his counsel Advocate Azhar Siddique. The petitioner argued that the details of the gifts obtained by the officials from Toshakhana should be made public.
The federal government’s lawyer while opposing the plea said in his statement that said the details about the gifts could not be provided since they are confidential. The court ordered the federal government to submit the details by January 16, adding that it would be decided then if the details are confidential or not.
Established in 1974, 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, states and foreign dignitaries as a goodwill gesture.
It has valuables ranging from bulletproof cars, gold-plated souvenirs, expensive paintings to watches, ornaments, rugs and swords. The existence of the Toshakhana represents a very standard practice in global diplomacy.
Whenever the leaders of two countries meet, it is customary to exchange gifts. In most democratic states, however, these gifts are considered the property of the state and received by individuals on behalf of the country.