As the Toshakhana saga gets murkier with each passing moment, the PTI announced on Wednesday that they would take legal action against Dubai-based business Umar Farooq Zahoor and a private TV channel which aired his interview.
Earlier, Umar had told the TV channel that Farah Gogi (a close associate of former prime minister Imran Khan’s wife) and Shahzad Akbar (the accountability czar during Imran’s tenure) sold the expensive wristwatch — worth at least Rs2 billion — to him, while also stating that he had the necessary evidence. This watch was gifted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the then prime minister.
Umar, the Norwegian-Pakistani millionaire, said he bought the rare watch and three other Toshakhana gifts Gogi, for 7.5 million Dirhams in cash.
He alleged that he was later on blackmailed and fake cases of money laundering were registered against him by the FIA at the behest of Shahzad Akbar after he refused to listen to the demands made by his former wife Sophia Mirza.
Umar said it was in March 2019 when Shahzad introduced him to Gogi and told him he should meet her during a Dubai visit and look at the unwanted rare gifts she wanted to sell.
“After verifying the authenticity of the items, I didn’t negotiate the price. I paid her whatever she asked for as these gifts are priceless. As soon as the payment was made, Gogi reported on the phone to Akbar that the deal was through and thanked him for introducing her to me. Shahzad thanked me for buying the Toshakhana gifts and requested that I don’t speak about this matter to anyone. I agreed.”
According to Umar, Shahzad later took permission from the federal cabinet to register fake criminal cases against him in collusion with his ex-wife Sophia.
But on Wednesday, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, accompanied by Zulfi Bukhari, told a press conference in Islamabad that Umar’s allegations were baseless and the party would initiate legal action against him in Dubai and the private TV channel in London.
Chaudhry said the watch was priced at Rs100 million and Imran sold the item for more than Rs50 million in the market and filed capital gain tax on it and in line with the law regulating Toshakhana.
On Tuesday, Gogi had also blasted Umar for his claims and said she neither knew who he was nor she sold any items to him.