The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Pakistan has released an investigative report shedding light on the alleged undervaluation of gifts presented to the Saudi Crown Prince by the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, and renowned anchorperson, Bakhshish Elahi, commonly known as Bani PTI and Bushra Bibi, respectively.
According to the NAB report, an estimated loss of PKR 1 billion 57 million 37 thousand was incurred by the Pakistani treasury due to the purported underestimation of the value of these gifts. The investigation revealed that the value of gifts, estimated at PKR 3 billion 16 million, was declared as PKR 1 billion 80 million in Pakistan, with half of this amount, namely 90 million, allegedly paid by the gift recipients.
One significant revelation in the report is the absence of a proper mechanism in Pakistan to ascertain the accurate value of gifts. Notably, no institution in Pakistan could determine the value of a jewelry set received from the Saudi Crown Prince. The report also highlighted that the committee of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) raised concerns about the undervaluation of gifts, indicating a lack of transparency in the process.
Furthermore, attempts to gather information from Industries and Production Division proved futile, as the James and Jewelry Development Company was reported as inactive, and the Jewelry Traders Association could not provide an estimate of the value. The report disclosed that the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation expressed disability in determining the value and received no response from MLAs in the UK, UAE, Italy, and Switzerland.
The report outlined that Embeu Impex FZE, a company associated with Imran Bashir, obtained the services of Omar Bishir through the Pakistani Consulate General in Dubai. Bishir claimed that the actual value of the gifts amounted to PKR 3 billion 16 million 55 thousand.
The findings indicate that PTI founder and Bushra Bibi could have declared the gifts at their true value of PKR 1 billion 57 million 37 thousand instead of allegedly paying only 90 million. Importantly, the report emphasized the lack of evidence against government officials regarding bribery or financial gains in the undervaluation process, absolving them of any charges due to the absence of proof of financial benefits.
The NAB report raises serious questions about the valuation process of gifts and highlights potential discrepancies in the declared values, prompting concerns about transparency and accountability in the handling of diplomatic exchanges and gifts.