ISLAMABAD - The palatial Prime Minister House, wearing a deserted look since Imran Khan’s installation as Prime Minister, once again beamed with hustle and bustle as final touches to its renovation and spruce-up were still on to house Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who would spend a night here.
Even days before his swearing in, the Prime Minister had announced not to live in Prime Minister’s House but later owing to security reasons he had to move in the premises of the building in the lap of Margalla Hills.
A security official at Prime Minister’s House who had also seen the successive governments of PPP and PML-N informed that earlier the building used to be the hub of activities as besides the visiting dignitaries the ministers and members of the ruling party were seen bee-lining here but now the scenario has completely changed as Prime Minister Imran Khan has made his office the hub of his activities.
“One can safely say that the activities at Prime Minister’s House are reduced to one-fourth if compared with the successive governments of PPP and PML-N,” he explained his point.
Sources in the government informed that since from day first Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that he would not be moving in the Prime Minister’s House so the building was not renovated, so now it was repainted and renovated to house the Saudi Crown Prince.
A low-ranking official deputed on the general maintenance of the building informed that now with the shifting back of Prime Minister Imran Khan to his Banni Gala residence, the building would be further neglected as due to the presence of Premier Khan, who had moved in the bungalow for the Prime Minister’s Military Secretary, some meetings used to be held here and due to his presence the staff deputed for the upkeep remained vigilant, as he roamed around the premises though quite rare as he used to spend weekends at his Banni gala residence.
He further informed that the Prime Minister’s House big kitchen which used to be hummed with the voices of servants preparing variety of sumptuous meals throughout the day was left with a few staffers and cooks and only a couple of dishes are prepared for lunch and dinner on daily basis as rarely some visitors dine here and the main activity of the kitchen is confined to preparing and serving tea to visitors.
Another official in Prime Minister’s Office also confirmed that Premier Khan has shifted his luggage back to Banni Gala and the premises where he shifted was locked.
A source in the PTI said that the Prime Minister shifted back to his residence in Banni Gala because he seriously wanted to convert the building into a state of the art education institution.
Prime Minister Imran Khan even Wednesday was briefed on the progress so far made for establishing Islamabad National University, a centre of excellence, where post doctoral research would be done by Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood.
There are some hiccups pertaining to security issues in the way of establishing the university in the high security zones as the premises of Prime Minister’s House was surrounded by Pakistan Secretariat, President House and the Parliament so the security wizards had raised objection on establishing a university which would definitely engage frequent public movement resulting in security hazards.
But despite the serious security concerns, Prime Minister Imran Khan was adamant to establish state of the art educational institution here and it would be the only way to revive the past hustle and bustle in the building which used to be the abode of former premiers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto.
Hustle and bustle
returns to PM House