ACCORDING to media reports, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday took serious notice of the extraordinary protocol accorded to federal cabinet members and VIPs and ordered curtailing it to avoid public inconvenience.
Last week, the PM had announced that he would no longer go to any private function with protocol and security “to save taxpayers’ money and avoid inconvenience to the public”.
Provision of security to VIPs and VVIPs is quite understandable and more so in the backdrop of terrorist and militant threat as well as conspiracies being hatched by some foreign countries to create panic and insecurity in Pakistan in line with their nefarious designs against the country.
The top leadership of the Government and some other personalities have to adopt foolproof measures to foil designs of such elements.
However, it has long been observed that the objective of providing security to VIPs and VVIPs is achieved at the cost of great inconvenience to the general public and also to the national exchequer.
There had been instances in the past where people were made to wait for hours as part of movement of the VVIPs, creating justified resentment and triggering demands for revision of the security protocol.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, while in the opposition, has also been critical of such practices and, therefore, it is encouraging that at long last, after three years, he has started thinking on the lines of streamlining the security protocol.
The security of vulnerable personalities must not be compromised but there was surely a need for revision of the practice of movement of a cavalcade of vehicles just for the sake of pomp and show.
While appreciating the instructions issued by the Prime Minister in this regard, we would urge that a comprehensive review of the entire arrangement should be undertaken and revised protocol and privileges approved by the federal and provincial cabinets for strict implementation with the clear objective of minimising inconvenience to the general public and saving taxpayers’ money.