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President irked with protocol, refuses to get out of airport


News Desk |

President of Pakistan Arif Alvi expressed his disapproval, on another security protocol related issue on Friday by announcing on Twitter that he would wait to exit Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport until a 32-vehicle security protocol assigned to escort him left the premises.

The president had flown in to meet the Governor and Chief Minister Punjab. He tweeted from within the airport throwing light to his “continuous struggle to keep security but reduce protocol that inconveniences people”.

The President had even then announced that he had given out clear instructions for removal of unnecessary protocol vehicles but his instructions had not been followed.

President Alvi discussed important political affairs and administrative affairs during his meetings, Radio Pakistan reported. CM Buzdar also apprised the president on the provincial government’s performance.

“My continuous struggle to keep security but reduce protocol that inconveniences people. Am at Lahore airport and there are 32 cars to escort me waiting outside. Will wait until they are sent away before I move out,” the President Tweeted.

Read more: Why would Dr. Arif Alvi remain a symbolic president?

Questions have been raised about Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leaders being assigned large security protocols despite the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government’s austerity drive, and the party’s own opposition to the previous government’s VIP protocols, and government’s avoidance of ostentatious security details.

In September, when the President had paid his maiden visit to his hometown after being sworn in as the 13th President of Pakistan, members of the activist group #Fixit had attempted to lift roadblocks that the Karachi Police had placed for the President’s arrival protocol. Karachi police had booked these members but a video of the incident went viral, drawing massive criticism to the ruling party’s violation of its own austerity rhetoric.

The President had even then announced that he had given out clear instructions for removal of unnecessary protocol vehicles but his instructions had not been followed.

The Finance Minister, one of the most important portfolios of the regime, travels with zero to minimum security. Most of the Federal Cabinet has been observed following the same.

“The long chain of official cars following me is despite the fact that I asked all officials present at the airport not to embarrass me with a huge protocol & that 1 or 2 cars in front and 1 or 2 cars behind may satisfy their security needs. Did not happen. We have to try harder. I do not begrudge security but when it becomes painful for the common man we should draw a line somewhere,” he earlier stated.

“We should look into this too and not become a nuisance for my own neighborhood where I have lived all my life. I do not begrudge security but when it becomes painful for the common man we should draw a line somewhere”, the President had tweeted.

Read more: PTI should keep its Govt running: Alvi

The PTI government has made prominent changes in the protocol trends of the previous governments. The Finance Minister, one of the most important portfolios of the regime, travels with zero to minimum security. Most of the Federal Cabinet has been observed following the same.

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