Imran Khan to move into Ministers’ Enclave

ISLAMABAD: The authorities concerned plan to declare a house in the Ministers’ Enclave as the official residence of the prime minister-in-waiting, Imran Khan, officials told medai.

In his victory speech, Imran Khan had announced that he would not use the Prime Minister’s House as his residence and that his party would later decide the fate of the building.

Shortly after Imran Khan’s victory in the recently-held general elections, the capital police and the district administration started extending VVIP protocol and security to the PTI chief, police officials said.

Security was mounted around Mr Khan and at his Banigala residence, they said.

Senior police officers, including Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Waqar Ahmed Chohan, visited Mr Khan’s Banigala residence soon after PTI’s victory in the polls.

The police team assessed the residence and the area around it, including the hills.

In his victory speech, the prime minister-in-waiting had declined to use Prime Minister’s House

The police officials said there was no standard operating procedure for the prime minister in-waiting, but since Imran Khan is likely to be the next prime minister, necessary measures have been taken for his security.

Besides police officials, personnel of Islamabad traffic police were also deployed around his Banigala residence and the road leading to it.

The Rangers were also detailed on the nearby mountains.

Islamabad Chief Commissioner Joudat Ayaz, Inspector General of Police Islamabad Jan Mohammad along with a couple of other senior officers also visited Banigala recently and discussed security issues with PTI leader Naeemul Haq as well as the chief security officer of the residence.

Issues regarding the official residence of the prime minister-in-waiting also came under discussion.

The officials briefed them about the standard operating procedure (SOP) with regards to security and protocol of the prime minister.

The senior officers also met Imran Khan and briefed him about security and protocol.

During the meeting, the district administration officials told him that his residence could not be provided foolproof security as the area was open and vulnerable to threat.

Earlier, there was an option to declare Banigala residence as Imran Khan’s official residence.

Mr Khan then agreed not to use Banigala as his official residence, the officials told media.

A few more options were also given to him, including using an accommodation at the Ministers’ Enclave, which he accepted.

However, he asked for a lowest category house at the enclave.

There are flats which fall in the lowest category, but since necesary SOPs and protocol for prime minister could not be implemented there, the senior officers advised Mr Khan against using a flat and instead prefer a house to which Mr Khan agreed.

Chief Commissioner Joudat Ayaz and IGP Jan Mohammad were not available for comments.

Presidential election could face delays

With just over a month to go until the expiry of President Mamnoon Hussain’s tenure, the Election Commission (ECP) of Pakistan expects the next presidential election to face delays.

President Hussain’s five-year term is set to expire on September 9. According to the Constitution, the presidential election must be held at least a month prior to the expiry of the incumbent’s term, which in this case would be August 8, an ECP source told media.

The president is elected by an electoral college comprising members of the Senate, National Assembly and four provincial assemblies. Voting is held through a secret ballot.

Ordinarily, the presidential election is held either a month after the General Election, or at least a month before the expiry of the president’s tenure.

However, since neither the National nor the provincial assemblies are functional as yet ─ and will likely not be up and running until at least August 10, holding a presidential election on August 8 will be nearly out of the question, the ECP source said.

Additionally, if the General and presidential elections fall in close proximity to each other, the Constitution requires that the presidential election be held a month after the General Election ─ which in this case would mean August 25.

Since the ECP is legally bound to issue a schedule for the presidential election at least 15 days in advance ─ Aug 10 in this case ─ the incomplete status of the electoral college means that a schedule is unlikely to be issued by this date, putting the Aug 25 date in jeopardy as well.

Therefore, the ECP source said, the commission would likely take cover of Article 254 and hold the election in early September.

Article 254 states:

Failure to comply with requirement as to time does not render an act invalid. When any act or thing is required by the Constitution to be done within a particular period and it is not done within that period, the doing of the act or thing shall not be invalid or otherwise ineffective by reason only that it was not done within that period.