23 January 2021
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An accountability court in Islamabad resumed hearing on Wednesday the Toshakhana reference against former president Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.

Gillani appeared in court for the hearing, while Zardari applied for exemption from appearance because of his health.

NAB Prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar said the defendants keep asking for more time to present their arguments. If they don’t present their arguments then the court should do away their right to do so, he said.

The judge said they will make a decision after looking at all the legal aspects involved.

Speaking to the media outside the court, Gillani said they can’t make any demands from the Pakistan Army. Such a demand would be unconstitutional, he remarked.

The talk on cancelling Nawaz Sharif’s passport is nothing but politics, he said, adding that the Pakistan Democratic Movement makes united decisions.

What is the Toshakhana reference?

NAB has accused former prime minister Gilani of illegally allotted cars to Nawaz and Zardari.

The accountability watchdog stated that Zardari and Nawaz obtained cars from the Toshakhana by paying only 15% of the price of the luxury vehicles.

It also alleged that Gillani had facilitated the allotment of the vehicles to Zardari and Nawaz by illegally relaxing the rules.

According to the reference, Zardari had received armoured vehicles as gift from the UAE and Libya between 2005 and 2008 but didn’t report the report the gifts or deposit them.

The Toshakhana is an official treasury where gifts from foreign dignitaries or heads of state are deposited. Two former prime ministers, Nawaz and Gilani, have also been nominated in the reference. Gilani, however, has been granted an exemption from appearing for the case hearings.

Abdul Gh Lone