Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday formed a committee to formulate and propose a new Toshakhana policy.
This was announced by Secretary Cabinet Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera in a tweet along with a notification of Cabinet Division dated June 24.
“It’s (committee) been given one month to complete the task, with directions that it should be more open, transparent, having appropriate provision for declassification, & in line with int’l best practices,” Sukhera further wrote in the tweet.
Prime Minister has formed a committee to formulate & propose a new Toshakhana Policy. It’s been given one month to complete the task, with directions that it should be more open, transparent, having appropriate provision for declassification, & in line with int’l best practices. pic.twitter.com/oaY1jzQ4Kg
— Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera (@ansukhera) July 2, 2022
As per the notification, the following Terms of Reference (ToRs) have been specified for the committee:
- The committee will holistically review/revisit the ‘Procedure for the Acceptance and Disposal of Gifts, 2018’ and prepare a new draft.
- The draft should be more open and transparent with appropriate provisions for de-classification.
- The new Toshakhana Procedure should be in the light of requirements of transparency and international best practices.
- The committee will submit its report to the prime minister within a period of one month.
- The Cabinet Division will provide Secretariat support to the committee.
The committee comprises 12 members including the Minister for Defence as the Convener, and the Additional Secretary of the Cabinet Division as the Secretary to the Committee.
Other members include Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) Syed Tariq Fatemi; the Ministers for Commerce, and Law and Justice; the Secretaries of the Cabinet Division and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Law and Justice, and Information and Broadcasting; Khawaja Zaheer Ahmed and the former DG of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) Aftab Sultan.
Read more: Toshakhana gifts be taken back, observes IHC
The Toshakhana case hit the headlines last year, after the PIC accepted an application on the matter and directed the Cabinet Division to provide the information about the gifts received by the then prime minister, Imran Khan from foreign dignitaries.
However, the Cabinet Division challenged the PIC order in the IHC, claiming that it was “illegal”. The then government took the position that the disclosure of any information related to Toshakhana might jeopardise Pakistan’s international relations.