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In a historic first, President House opened to public

Updated December 09, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Visitors view a presidents’ portrait gallery at the Aiwan-i-Sadr on Saturday.—Tanveer Shahzad/White Star
ISLAMABAD: Visitors view a presidents’ portrait gallery at the Aiwan-i-Sadr on Saturday.—Tanveer Shahzad/White Star

ISLAMABAD: For the first time in the country’s history, President House on Saturday opened its doors to the public as part of the government’s plans to allow the people to access state-owned buildings.

Earlier, the government had opened Governor Houses in Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and a state-owned rest house in Murree to the public.

Speaking to reporters after meeting the visitors at President House, Mr Alvi said: “We have made efforts to fully facilitate public visits to Aiwan-i-Sadr.”

He said he would open President House to the public twice a month and would also direct the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to open the adjacent park to President House.

The president said that historical documents and belongings of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan would be displayed at President House.

“We will request parliament to give the historical document of the 1973 Constitution signed by its makers and it will be displayed here for the public,” he said.

The president said that he wanted to bridge the gap between President House and the masses which had widened in the last 70 years.

He said that President House was opened to school and college trips as well.

Replying to a question, Mr Alvi rejected the impression that Aiwan-i-Sadr was opened to divert attention from the challenges being faced by the government, saying that the office of the president was apolitical.

Earlier, a large number of people from twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad visited the highly secured building of Aiwan-i-Sadr.

Talking to Dawn, the visitors appreciated the decision of the government to open the gates of President House to the public. It remained open from 9am to 4pm.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2018

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