Islamabad: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan faced criticism on social media for using an extensive motorcade while going to attend his party’s parliamentary meeting on Monday. The criticism came following Khan’s speech on July 26 in which he had vowed to cut the flab on governance.
In his first speech after elections, Khan, Pakistan’s Prime Minister-designate, had talked about austerity measures and simplicity in governance to save money for a `New Pakistan’. However, people felt that Khan needs to practice what he preaches and charity begins at home. People felt that Khan’s long motorcade remains the old style of governance practiced by Pakistan leaders for years and does not go with Khan’s vision for a new Pakistan that has its leaders living a simple life.
Twitterverse exploded as people could not understand the ‘simplicity’ Khan had vouched for when a motorcade with 10 cars escorted him from his residence to Mariott. Journalist Omar R. Quraishi took to Twitter to write: “Naya Pakistan mein Purana Motorcade. Abhi Imran Khan nay Wazir-e-Azam ka mansab bhi nahin sambhala aur motorcade itna lamba (Old motorcade in new Pakistan. Imran Khan has not even taken over as the Prime Minister yet his motorcade is so long) — this is as he left for the Marriott from his residence today to attend his party’s parliamentary meeting.”
Another objected to the meeting venue itself. “It should have been a simpler place rather than Marriott,” tweeted another Pakistani citizen Samina Safdar.
However, Khan in a parliamentary party meeting on Monday objected to the safety protocol. In the speech following his nomination as PTI’s formal PM candidate, Khan said, “I was given official protocol [while coming here today] – the country cannot be run like this,” reported Geo News. He further asked the party members to “save the money of the nation so it can spent on public welfare.”
Though it is not new for a Prime Minister or Prime Minister-designate to have a long motorcade due to security protocols, Khan was criticised due to his long speech on austerity. Khan had even announced that no foreign dignitaries will be called for his swearing-in ceremony. Last week, PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said that Khan has decided to keep the ceremony ‘extremely simple’ and not ‘ostentatious’, and will be a ‘purely national event’.
According to reports, Khan has invited only select `friends’ for his swearing-in to be held on August 11. Reports claimed former Indian cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Navjot Singh Sidhu, and actor Aamir Khan too have been invited. As per figures provided by the Election Commission of Pakistan, the PTI emerged as the single largest party with 115 seats out of the 270 National Assembly constituencies.