March 25, 2023

ISLAMABAD: A new audio clip, purportedly containing the voice of Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan’s wife, Bushra Bibi, was leaked on Thursday in which she is allegedly heard asking a senior Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf official, Zulfi Bukhari, to sell her husband’s wristwatches.
The 21-second audio clip revived the controversy related to Imran Khan selling off his “toshakhana (state depository)” gifts.
In the latest audio, Bibi allegedly asked Bukhari to sell some of the watches the PTI chairman possesses. “There are some watches of Khan Sahib who wants them to be delivered to you (Zulfi Bukhari) so you could sell them. These watches are not in his use so he wants them to be sold off,” Bushra Bibi purportedly tells Bukhari.
In response, Bukhari assures Khan’s wife that the job will be done. The conversation ends with Zulfi saying, “Sure, murshid (spiritual guru). I will do it.”
Bukhari later reacted strongly to the purported audio, saying that he had neither sold nor bought a watch and demanded that the audio clip be subjected to a forensic audit. “I am ready to pay for it (audit),” he added.
Last August, a reference was filed against the PTI chief in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) by the incumbent coalition government for “not sharing details” of toshakhana gifts and proceeds from their alleged sale.
In a written reply submitted to the ECP on September 8, Imran had admitted selling at least four presents he had received during his tenure as PM. In his reply, Imran had maintained that he had sold the gifts that he had procured from the state treasury after paying Rs 21.56 million (Pakistani rupees). The gifts included a Master Graff wristwatch, a pair of cufflinks, an expensive pen, a diamond ring and four Rolex watches. A month later, the electoral watchdog had disqualified Khan as a lawmaker after finding his statement and declaration, submitted annually to the electoral body, to be false and incorrect.
Last month, the electoral body had sent a reference to the trial court asking it to proceed against Imran under criminal law for allegedly misleading officials about gifts he had received from foreign dignitaries during his tenure as PM. The commission also sought a three-year jail term and fine as punishment.
Khan has challenged the ECP’s verdict in the Islamabad high court.

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