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“NAB Strikes: Graft Reference Targets Imran and Bushra in Toshakhana Scandal”

PTI Chairman Imran Khan with his wife: FILE/PHOTO

In a significant development on Tuesday, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a reference with the accountability court against former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, in connection to the Toshakhana case.

The registrar office of the accountability court is set to take further action after scrutinising the case.

The NAB Rawalpindi, acting on allegations of graft, has named only two accused in the reference – Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi.

The NAB prosecutor, Sohail Arif, along with Investigation Officer Mohsin Haroon, submitted the reference to the registrar office for further legal proceedings.

This development comes after the accountability court on Saturday rejected NAB’s request for an extended physical remand of Khan in the Toshakhana case. The court, dismissing the bureau’s plea, declared a 21-day judicial remand for the former PTI chairman. The hearing was adjourned until January 6.

Also read: Imran sent on judicial remand in Toshakhana case

The crux of the accusations revolves around Khan and Bushra allegedly retaining gifts received during their official visits to foreign countries while Imran Khan served as the prime minister. Instead of following the prescribed official protocol by depositing these gifts in the Toshakhana, the couple purportedly kept them and contributed an amount less than the stipulated value into the national treasury.

Bushra, in particular, is accused of holding on to various jewelry items received as gifts during official visits. The list of allegedly retained gifts includes a locket, two rings, two ear tops, and two bracelets received on June 26, 2019. In 2020, she reportedly acquired a diamond-studded gold necklace, ring, bracelet, and ear tops. The list expanded in 2021 with the addition of a necklace, earrings, ring, and bracelet.

Despite repeated requests from the NAB for the return of these gifts, especially the jewelry items, Bushra has allegedly failed to comply. In response, the NAB directed her to appear at the NAB Rawalpindi office on December 11 and bring the specified ornaments with her. Subsequently, Bushra obtained bail until December 13 in this case from the accountability court in Islamabad.

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