ISLAMABAD: In order to carry forward his party’s austerity drive, President-elect Dr Arif Alvi is seriously mulling over a proposal to shift in the annexi of Punjab House instead of the luxurious President House.
A well-placed source in the government circles has informed Pakistan Today that the president-elect has been advised by senior bureaucracy to shift his residence in an annexi of Punjab House. The source said that Dr Alvi plans to remain a busy president and wanted to avoid all sorts of VIP protocols.
“Dr Alvi had earlier informed the government that living in the palatial presidency was not his priority and he would rather like to follow the footsteps of Prime Minister Imran Khan who has also decided not to use the luxurious Prime Minister’s House,” the source said. “Dr Alvi feels that the luxurious buildings like the President House would hamper his connection with the common people. He wants to live in a place which is not restricted for common people. Moreover, he also wants to remain actively engaged in social activities and hence wants to stay at a place where he can easily reach out to masses without protocols.”
He said that Dr Alvi had recently exchanged his views with some senior bureaucrats who advised him to stay in Punjab House annexi. However, the Punjab House is also a luxurious building which has made Dr Alvi think twice.
“Dr Alvi has also expressed his desire to live in the Parliament Lodges from where he could easily move around for official engagements,” the source told Pakistan Today, adding that Dr Alvi also wants to live with a smaller family unit, as his extended family including son, Dr Awab Alvi, and grandchildren plan to live in Karachi.
Security officials in a fix over Dr Alvi’s residence
According to the source, the chief security officer (CSO) of the president house has expressed reservations over the plans of Dr Alvi. As per the security agencies, the head of state or prime minister can’t be allowed to live in the Punjab House or the Parliament Lodges owing to security hazards.
“As a president, Dr Alvi would not only act as the head of state but he would be the supreme commander of the armed forces. Hence, no one can risk threats to his life,” the source said, adding that the CSO has commenced deliberations with the intelligence agencies and other concerned officials to deal with the matter.
Intelligence agencies had already advised Prime Minister Imran Khan not to live in Punjab House annexi, as threats to his life are very strong, the source concluded.