Pakistan to rent out PM’s official house to manage 'financial crunch': Report

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Reeling from a financial crunch, Pakistan has now put its prime minister Imran Khan's official residence in Islamabad on the market for rent, according to a report by news agency ANI citing the local media. Earlier, the ruling Tehreek-Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government led by Khan had announced its plans to convert the prime minister's residence into a university. However, that plan has now reportedly been dropped, with the federal government instead deciding to rent out the property.

Imran Khan had vacated his official residence in Islamabad after the Pakistan government announced in August 2019 its plan to convert the prime minister's house into a state-of-the-art federal educational institution. According to a report by Samaa TV, the federal government has decided to rent out the property to people who want to hold cultural, fashion, educational, and other events at the premises located at the Red Zone in Islamabad.

"Two committees have been formed for this purpose. They will be responsible for ensuring the discipline and decorum of the PM House are not violated during the events," Saama TV said.

According to local media, the federal cabinet will meet and discuss ways to garner revenue from the PM House building.

The auditorium of the prime minister's house, two guest wings, and a lawn will probably be rented out to generate funds. High-level diplomatic functions and international seminars will also be held at the former principal workplace of the Pakistani premier.

Imran Khan, after taking over as Pakistan's prime minister, had announced that the federal government doesn't have the money to spend on public welfare schemes, while a few people in the country are "living like our colonial masters used to live". He has since then been living at his Bani Gala residence and only uses the prime minister's office.

Pakistan's economy has shrunk by USD 19 billion in the last three years since Khan came to the power. When he became the prime minister, he took many austere steps to cut down government expenses to give respite to the country's economy.