With latest the revelations by the reported buyer of an expensive watch given as a state gift retained by former prime minister Imran Khan for a fraction of its cost and later sold for a profit creating a storm, Federal Defense Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday said that it was perhaps time to shutter the Toshakhana facility to permanently end the temptation.
Speaking to journalists outside the Parliament House after Thursday’s session of the National Assembly, Asif endorsed the decision of former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to approach the court over his alleged defamation.
“It is better to approach court rather than yelling about it on social media. By this, it will be verified and endorsed by courts,” he said.
“Imran Khan says he will go to the UAE and UK to lodge the Toshakhana case, he is free to go to moon if he wants to,” quipped Asif.
The minister added that the “committee” had put forward a recommendation to close the facility of Toshakhana once and for all so that no ruler can abuse it.
Khawaja went on to say that the items gifted by foreign dignitaries are priceless and should not be sold.
Asked about Imran’s anti-establishment narrative, Asif dismissed it.
“Imran Khan does not have an anti-establishment narrative. On the contrary he wants the military establishment to be on his side,” he said, adding, “He has been begging the establishment and does not want it to be neutral.”
“It was Imran Khan who offered indefinite extension to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Qamar Javed Bajwa,” Asif added.
He said, “In his [Imran Khan’s] mind army has only one role that somehow it favors him and be on his side.”
Responding to a question regarding the long march, he said, “The long march has lost relevance, and it is no more a big deal for the government like it was 15 to 20 days earlier. They only gather 1000 to 1200 people at every place wherever they go.”
“The movements do not run from home,” said Asif while referring to video link speeches of PTI chairman Imran Khan.“