The use of precious gifts from the Toshakhana repository by a galaxy of our ex-rulers or by our present rulers is morally reprehensible; this endeavour should be brought to an end.

In future, I would like to recommend the following rules and regulations to operate our Toshakhana in an honourable manner:

1.) The receipt of a “gift” by the head of state, the head of government, governor, provincial chief minister, chief justice, justice, or any other public service functionary, should be deposited in the Toshakhana forthwith.

2.) The recipient, however, would be allowed to receive or retain a beautifully adorned pictorial memento of the receipt of a “gift”.

3.) Each “gift” belongs to the nation; once it is deposited in the Toshakhana safe, it would be subject to sale via auction within a reasonable period of time; the minimum reserve price of the article’s sale should be its current market value.

4.) Funds received from the auction would be spent on charitable projects across all 5 provinces, such as supporting Sundas Foundation or SIUT, widows, orphans, destitute people, dialysis centres, and marriages of orphan or destitute girls, or rehabilitation centres for drug users, etc.

ABBAS R. SIDDIQI,

Lahore.