ISLAMABAD  -  Expressing his annoyance over the security formalities involving a cavalcade of around nine vehicles provided to him, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief and prime-minister-in-waiting Imran Khan on Monday asked the Islamabad police to take back additional protocol vehicles.

Around nine security vehicles escorted his vehicle when he moved out of his Banigala residence on Monday to attend the party’s parliamentary committee meeting — for the first time in 11 days since he was out to cast his ballot in Islamabad on July 25 — at a local hotel.

The footage of Khan’s cavalcade showed him leaving his Banigala residence for the private hotel to attend the party’s parliamentary committee, as the local authorities provided him the VVIP protocol and halted the public transport and motorists on the designated route.

Blocking the public transport has always been a source of nuisance for the public and Khan has been criticising his predecessors for enjoying heavy protocols at the cost of public money. Though less in number as compared to what former prime ministers used to carry along with his vehicle in the name of security, the nine security vehicles were enough to stir a debate in the media whether or not Khan will keep his words when it comes to the VVIP protocol .

The prime-minister-in-waiting expressed his annoyance over the VVIP protocol given to him by the local authorities.

According to PTI sources, Khan, while addressing the parliamentary committee meeting, said that he was given the official protocol without his consent.

“The country cannot be run like this. If we cannot bring change, then we will suffer the same fate what the leadership of other parties had to face,” he told the gathering, according to the sources. The PTI chief also asked the Islamabad police to take back additional protocol vehicles. He also urged party leaders to save the nation’s money so that it could be spent on public welfare.

According to PTI spokesman Naeemul Haq, the premier-in-waiting only wanted four security vehicles with him, including a jammer car. Talking to the media, Haq said, “Imran does not want additional protocol to disturb the people”.

A second test also awaits Khan, as he had announced not to use the Prime Minister’s House as his residence but his party would later decide whether or not he would shift to the palatial building, or for what purpose it would be used.

Khan, in his victory speech on July 26, announced that he would not use the PM House as his residence, earning a widespread appreciation from the public.

According to political experts, Khan’s decision to live in a smaller and a simple residence instead of the PM’s House will save a huge sum incurring on the national exchequer annually.

If implemented, the decision will also send a positive message to the masses that their elected prime minister was not wasting public money on a luxurious life and VVIP protocol .

Khan in the past had made it clear that he will neither stay in the PM House nor enjoy the VVIP protocol after assuming the office of the prime minister. The cricketer-turned-politician had also vowed to ensure that his ministers and provincial chief ministers, where his party will be in power, also adopt austerity measures.

 

 

TAHIR NIAZ