President Alvi deserves compliments of the whole nation for setting a noble tradition by declaring gifts valued at over Rs45 Million which he and his family received from King of Saudi Arabia on his official visit and depositing them in Toshakhana, which is a legal requirement. This has been the diplomatic practice over the years that the two nations exchange gifts, as a token of their friendship, when any dignitary officially visits another country. These gifts are purchased from the treasury and belong to the state and not the individual who receives them.

The question arises what the status of such gifts which have, in the recent past, been given to numerous other Pakistani dignitaries, both civil and military, who have visited Saudi Arabia and other Gulf sheikdoms who are known for giving expensive gifts costing hundreds of thousands of dollars is. Unfortunately, ever since Ayub Khan was gifted Ghandara Motors by USA government, which he chose to keep for himself, others who have held elected or dictatorial public offices have brought ignominy to this country by keeping such gifts for themselves or buying them back from Toshakhana for peanuts. In countries like the USA, the recipient of such gifts from other states are not even allowed to buy again if they are valued above $100.

One hopes that tradition set by President Alvi is followed by all others who hold public office and NAB takes note of such corrupt practices.


Sukkur, May 9.