News Analysis |
Imran Khan, Prime Minister in-waiting, has decided to use a house in the Ministers’ Enclave as his official residence. Imran Khan took this decision after a meeting with security officers at his residence, Bani Gala. Earlier, Mr. Khan had said that he won’t use the Prime Minister House and would ensure to turn the PM house into an educational institution.
In his victory speech, Mr Khan had said that he and his team would not spend a luxurious life rather there will be simplicity and modesty. It should be remembered that in 2018-19 budget, a heavy sum of Rs 986 million has been allocated for PM House. According to the Capital Development Authority (CDA), it encompasses 800 Kanal of land in which PM house and residential apartments of the staff are constructed.
Luxury became the crucial part of their living style. Indeed, they spent more luxurious life than they (native politicians) used to spend in sub-continent under English rulers.
Analysts in Pakistan point out interesting questions. Imran Khan is not the first one who has said not to use the official residence rather in 1997 and 2013 the ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also said the same. But to security challenge, these words could not have been turned into reality. In 2013, Imran Khan himself said to turn the KPK governor and Chief Minister House into an educational institution but these could also not happen.
Now the most important question is how will PM Imran Khan manage his official tasks? If he prefers to stay in a Ministers’ Enclave where will he hold his official meetings? Imran Khan earlier deiced to use his Banigala residence as his official residence but when the security officers told him about the society arrangements and protocol of a Prime Minster he decided to change his mind.
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Recently, a senior police officer said the residence has become a security risk for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman because he is likely to become the next prime minister. Rangers alongside police have been deployed in the hills, at points from which the residence is visible. A heavy contingent of police will now patrol the roads leading to Bani Gala.
Mr Khan had said that he and his team would not spend a luxurious life rather there will be simplicity and modesty. It should be remembered that in 2018-19 budget, a heavy sum of Rs 986 million has been allocated for PM House.
Moreover, authorities have installed CCTV cameras on walkthrough gates and started snap-checking of vehicles as part of enhanced security measures. This is yet to be understood that where will the PM hold his official meetings and interact with his staff?
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Interestingly, a journalist has noted that “in case Imran decides to follow in the footsteps of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi [who used PM house only for his official taks], it will not be without security problems as there only one road leads to his house situated at the hilltop. So if there is any roadblock by the protesters, PM Imran will be stranded there and his staff will have no access to him. Whether maintaining his security as PM at the Ministers’ Enclave will be feasible remains a question.”
Moreover, a professor of history of Quaid-e-Azam University Dr. Ilhan Niaz believes that the building cannot be converted to university owing to security concerns but should be made civil service academy or any training institution. He further added that our politicians spent a deluxe life. Luxury became the crucial part of their living style. Indeed, they spent more luxurious life than they (native politicians) used to spend in sub-continent under English rulers.