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Punjab Governor House opened for Public: challenges and implications


News Analysis |

The government, of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has finally opened the doors of Governor House Punjab for public. People were allowed to visit the governor house from 10 am to 6pm (Sunday). The building was opened following an announcement by Punjab Governor, Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar, regarding opening the building every Sunday.

“It was a pleasure to open the Governor House Murree today for the public. Our govt will deliver to people’s expectations & to the promises that we made!” Governor Punjab said in a tweet.

 

The PTI government announced to open official buildings for public use soon after taking charge. Recently, Minister for Education, Shafqat Mehmood, announced that the Prime Minister House will be turned into a postgraduate college.

In his maiden speech to the nation on August 19, PM Khan revealed that some 524 folks were present to serve the prime minister at the 1100-Kanal PM House, coupled with 80 cars, including 33 bulletproof ones worth Rs 50 million each, besides helicopters and an airplane.

The governor Punjab also said that the response of the people was unprecedented and unexpected. “More than 25,000 people visited the Governor House Lahore today. Response of the crowd was unprecedented & unexpected!” he said.

“On one hand the nation was burdened with debt and on the other, we have the elite. This system was created by the British during the colonial era to rule the masses but even after independence, the same practice was being followed”, the PM remarked.

Read more: Sindh Governor House opens for public

Experts and analysts have, however, a very different opinion in this regard. It will be difficult to operate any educational institution at a place which is said to be a “Red Zone”. There are obviously security reasons for not making the place available for all and sundry.

Pakistan is facing the menace of extremism and terrorism, it will be more important to take some serious security measures before the government finally plans to turn the PM house into a university.

Interestingly, a professor of history at Quaid-e-Azam University, Dr. Ilhan Niaz, believes that the building cannot be converted to a university owing to security concerns, hence, should be made into a civil service academy or any training institution.

Similarly, there are some serious society implications with regard to the opening of Governor House for the public. Who will ensure the security of the house if there are 25, 000 people visiting it at the same time? Who will be responsible for the damages to the public property? More importantly, what point is the PTI government trying to make by opening the doors of a Governor House? Ask its critics.

Read more: PM House to be converted into an educational institution, says PTI…

Pakistan is facing an economic crisis, waves of unemployment and water scarcity, and also the threat of religious extremism across the country. These problems and challenges require a comprehensive policy framework to be understood and addressed. Populist moves like the opening of a Governor House may appeal to the common man, but this is not going to address the problems of a man on the street.

Experts opine that the PTI-led government needs to focus on resolving the complex socio-political and socio-economic problems of Pakistan, and must not focus on such petty political tactics to attract masses.

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