Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan will live in the chief minister’s annex in Punjab House after he is elected prime minister, senior PTI leader Naeemul Haq said on Wednesday.
“Punjab House is in every way an appropriate place for Khan sahib to live in,” said Haq, adding that Punjab House is not too far from the prime minister’s office either.
The prime minister-in-waiting will stay in the annex for 4-5 days each week, and spend the weekend at his residence in Banigala, as per Haq.
Haq also said that Khan does not want traffic to be stopped because of him, and does not want to create any difficulties for the city’s residents.
The PTI leader also said that he has had many discussions with security agencies and is confident about the arrangements. Security has already been deployed around Khan’s Banigala residence, including personnel of Islamabad traffic police and Rangers.
Also on Wednesday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) issued a second notice to the federal government, the Election Commission of Pakistan and the Punjab government over the VIP security protocol accorded to Khan before officially assuming the office of the prime minister.
The issue was taken up by the court last week on the petition of Lawyers Foundation for Justice. Neither the two federal and provincial governments nor the ECP's representatives appeared in the court today. No reply was submitted either.
At this, the LHC issued another notice to the trio and adjourned the case's proceedings till September 5.
The petitioner, AK Dogar, has claimed that the usage of VIP protocol by Imran Khan before becoming the PM is illegal.
"Imran Khan is using tax money for his own self," he alleged, while appealing to the court to make the federal govt retract its security detail assigned to the PM-in-waiting.
Matter of residence
In his victory speech, Khan 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.
Islamabad Chief Commissioner Joudat Ayaz, Inspector General of Police Islamabad Jan Mohammad and other senior officers then visited Banigala to discuss security with Haq, and said the residential area was open and vulnerable to threat.
Subsequently, Khan had agreed not to use Banigala as his official residence, and instead asked for the lowest category house at the Ministers’ Enclave. Flats fall in the lowest category, but since the necessary protocol for a prime minister cannot be implemented there, the senior officers advised Khan against using a flat and to instead pick a house, to which Khan agreed.
Oath-taking date expected today
The day of the oath-taking ceremony has still not been finalised. Haq said President Mamnoon Hussain is leaving the country on August 16, so PTI wants the ceremony to happen before, preferably on August 14 or 15. “We hope [the date] is announced today,” said Haq.
The leader also reiterated that Khan wanted the ceremony to be simple, and that the guest list is still to be finalised.
When asked by a reporter if Khan has gotten a sherwani stitched for the ceremony, Haq laughed and said he hadn’t asked, but that Khan probably already has a sherwani.