­ISLAMABAD     -  Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Wednesday announced that prime minister-designate and party chairman Imran Khan would live in the chief minister’s annex in Punjab House — a luxurious place located in the vicinity of Judges Colony of the capital.

Punjab House is used for the temporary residence of members of the Parliament belonging to Punjab and their guests. It is still unclear whether the decision to use Punjab House as the residence of next prime minister would hamper the movement of MNAs and MPAs from Punjab in the house or not.

If the movement of Punjab MPAs was not restricted, then authorities concerned would have to build a new security wall around the annex of chief minister Punjab and it would cost millions of rupees.

The former interior minister and PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has been using Punjab House as his camp office during the last five years of the previous PML-N government.

Senior PTI leader and spokesman to Chairman PTI, Naeemul Haq, told the media that Punjab House in every way was an appropriate place for Imran Khan to live in.

He made the announcement soon after he visited the Punjab House to see arrangements for the residence of next prime minister of the country.

Mr Haq said that prime minister will stay in the annex for 4 to 5 days every week, and would move to his residence in Banigala at weekend. “I have visited Punjab House on the advice of Khan,” he said

Haq also said that Khan neither wants traffic to be stopped because of him nor to create any difficulties for the capital’s residents.

He also said that he had many discussions with security agencies in this regard.

According to security experts, next prime minister’s movement from Punjab House to Bani Gala during weekend would not only cause traffic problems for the residents but also cost heavily in terms of money to make additional security arrangements in Bani Gala.

In his victory speech on July 26, the prime minister-in-waiting had announced that he would not use the Prime Minister House as his residence and that his party would later decide the fate of the building. He had announced to residence in Minister’s Enclave.

Later, Khan had asked for a lowest category house at the Ministers’ Enclave but he was advised by the senior security officials that the necessary protocol for the prime minister could not be implemented in Minister’s Enclave.

The PTI leadership then thought over the use of the Speaker National Assembly’s residence for the prime minister but the idea was also dropped.

The Islamabad Police and local administration have already provided police and Rangers security to the PM-designate at his residence in Bani Gala soon after his party’s victory as a result of July 25 elections.

But senior police officials had advised him not to use Bani Gala as his official residence as the area was open and vulnerable to threats. Khan agreed to the proposal and decided to shift to the Minister’s Enclave.

 

IMRAN MUKHTAR