Imran Khan, a former Pakistani prime minister, was barred from campaigning for office for five years on Friday, according to his counsel, after the country’s election commission determined he had lied to officials about gifts he received while in office.
“The ECP (Election Commission of Pakistan) has pronounced Imran Khan to have engaged in corrupt practices.” We are going to fight this straight now at the Islamabad high court.”
In a press conference on Friday before the decision, PTI senator Syed Ali Zafar, a lawyer for Khan, said: “In our view, the Election Commission of Pakistan is not a court, therefore they can’t deliver a declaration to disqualify anyone.”
The dispute revolves around a government division called “Toshakhana,” which during the Mughal Empire refers to the “treasure chambers” used by the princely rulers of the subcontinent to preserve and display gifts showered on them.
All gifts must be disclosed by public authorities, however, those worth less than a specific amount may be kept.
More expensive items must be sent to Toshakhana, but in rare situations, the recipient may be able to purchase them back at a discount of almost 50% of their worth, which Khan increased from 20% while in power.
They included designer handbags, perfumes, jewelry, and expensive watches. Khan is charged with failing to disclose some gifts or the revenue from their sale.