According to press reports, a petition has been submitted to the Lahore High Court to convert the Governor House Lahore into a housing colony comprising 786 plots for the benefits of society. The petition was submitted by Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffery who in an earlier petition in 1972 had also demanded to turn the Governor House into a university. Now Mr Jaffery wants the Chief Justice House converted into a university instead. I agree with Barrister Jaffery that these huge palaces that were built by British Raj for its top bureaucracy should have been converted into educational institutions, hospitals or public libraries after the independence of Pakistan. In the newly independent nations back then, it was fashionable to be rid of legacies of British rule but we, unfortunately, did not go with the times and preserved the memories of our foreign masters. The white Babus were replaced by brown Babus in ceremonies of lavish splendour in these Palladian structures. We failed to even change the laws and acts that pertained to keeping these assets under public control. Pakistan being Islamic state imposes a duty upon its ruling class to follow in the footsteps of Muslim rulers. But our entire elite, and the rulers that head it at the top, live like colonial rulers. The nation cannot afford this lifestyle of vulgar luxury for those that rule a country half of whose population is living below the poverty line and does not even have a shelter on their heads even when they can square two meals a day. I suggest all these government buildings and palatial houses and large areas of lands attached to these should be sold at high market price in auctions. The huge amount collected from the sales of these properties could be spent on building housing for the poor and residential colonies for government employees. We can build new office buildings on cheaper lands. -ENGR. S.T. HUSSAIN, Lahore, September 21.