This is in reference tothe encouraging and commendable reports about the decision of Punjab CM and Provincial Government to turn former PM’s Jatti Umra residence as CM Punjab camp office.
There exists a CM House and a secretariat in every provincial capital and country spends crores on their upkeep and security. Having a private residence in provincial capital, where CM’s family lived does not justify wastage of state funds when official residence owned by state exists in same city. In any case there should be some defined parameters about the area covered to qualify for its declaration as camp office. This decadent mindset plagues not just elected political executive but also paid civil and uniformed bureaucracy of this unfortunate country whose elite want to continue to live in the past grandeur of British Raj, forgetting that they were than serving an occupying colonial power, but now must serve people of Pakistan as servants not masters.
Jatti Umra spread over hundreds of acres covers an area in excess of Colonial Raj built Governor House. Any family or citizen who can afford to lead such luxurious lifestyle with houses spread over hundreds of canals must have the means to afford maintaining and securing them and this should not be a burden on national exchequer which has paucity of funds to provide even basic health and education facilities to citizens. There can be only one Camp Office for CM or even PM and President, or any other constitutional office holder, which should under no circumstances be covering an area in excess of five thousand square yards.
Whether it be privately owned Jatti Umra Estate, Bilawal House, Bani Gala estate, or private residences in Murree, or any other city of Pakistan, where state guest house exists, this obnoxious practice of declaring them as Camp Offices must cease forthwith.
MALIK TARIQ ALI,
Lahore, November 16.