ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Tuesday, declared that he would not be going to any private function with protocol and security to save taxpayers money and avoid inconvenience to the masses. In a tweet, he said that he was also reviewing the protocol and security available to ministers, governors and chief ministers belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to decide how they can minimise expenditure and end public inconvenience.
He said the federal cabinet would decide on a comprehensive policy in that regard next week, adding “we will put an end to the colonial legacy of pomp and glory used to overwhelm the people”. Before coming into power, Khan had constantly opposed VIP movements and security protocols culture in the country, and launched a campaign to adopt austerity and lead a simple lifestyle after being elected the prime minister.
On a Sunday in May, Imran had made a surprise visit to different public places in Islamabad without any security and protocol. Pictures and videos shared by the Prime Minister’s Office and lawmakers had shown Prime Minister Imran driving himself to different areas and talking to the people. He had also inspected business activities, implementation of Covid-19 standard operating procedures, and development works during the tour.
At the same time, the premier last month inspected handcart (vendors) market recently set up in the capital’s G-10 Markaz. Driving his car, the prime minister arrived at the market without any protocol and was warmly welcomed by the bystanders, handcart owners, residents, and shopkeepers.
A month after Prime Minister Imran took office in 2018, a total of 61 luxury and surplus vehicles and eight buffaloes belonging to Prime Minister’s House were auctioned off. The auctions were part of the premier’s austerity drive through which he planned to cut down his government’s expenditures, which he believed would motivate the nation to follow suit at a time of economic hardship.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021