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Pakistan PM House to be converted into university
By Tariq Butt September 14, 2018
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ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister House in Islamabad will be converted into a high level post-graduate educational institution.

"The government has decided to convert all high level official residences into higher educational institutions, museums, parks and five-star hotels in pursuance of promises made by Prime Minister Imran Khan in his maiden speech,” Federal Minister Shafqat Mahmood told a news conference.

He said around Rs1.15 billion were being spent annually on these official residences which would be saved. He said the prime minister and governors had decided not to live in their official residences, as a good gesture and a role model of austerity for the masses.

Mahmood said that a committee established in this regard under his chairmanship
has presented the report to Khan. He said the Prime Minister House comprised over 1096 kannals of land and its annual expenditure was Rs470 million.

The land of the House would also be utilised for construction of the new buildings of university, he added. In this regard, a three-member committee has been constituted which included Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri and educationist Dr Attaur Rahman which would take further steps for establishing the university.

Mahmood said that the Governor's House in Murree would be converted into a Heritage Boutique Hotel. It was recently renovated with an amount of Rs600 million, while its annual expenditure was Rs140 million.

The Punjab House situated at Pindi Point Murree would be converted into a tourists' complex, he said, adding that the annual expenditure on it was around Rs25 million.

The Punjab House and Governor’s House established in Rawalpindi were spread over 50 kannals and 20 kannals respectively and were being used as a rest house, he said adding that the total expenditure of both buildings was around Rs40 million annually.

The minister said these buildings would also be transferred into a high level educational institution. The National Council of Arts Rawalpindi could be shifted there or an Information Technology Centre could also be established. The decision in this regard would be taken by the Punjab government.

The Governor’s House Lahore, established on 700 kannals would be used for museum and Art Gallery while the grounds would be converted into public parks.

A vocational and technical institute and a boys and girls school established in its jurisdiction would be separated from the Governor’s House, Lahore.

Similarly, the minister said the building established on 90 Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam Karachi is being renovated with the cost of Rs80 million, adding that it would be converted into the crafts museum while its basement hall would be rented out for public conferences.

He said that the Chamba House Lahore is a historical building which will be used for Governor’s Office. Another building of State Guest House established on 16.5 acres of land at Mall Road Lahore and being officially used by the foreign ministry will be converted into a five-star hotel. The annual expenditure of this building is around Rs500 million.

The Governor House Karachi would be converted into a museum while State Guest House Karachi would be used for Governor’s House and the decision to this effect would be taken with the consultation of the Sindh government. Qasr-e-Naz, a building located at best place of Karachi, would also be converted into a five-star hotel. Its annually expenditure is around Rs12 million.

Mahmood said that Governor’s House Balochistan has two portions and it would be used for museum while on the wish of prime minister, its grounds would be converted into parks specifically for women.

The Peshawar Governor House would be made a history museum and its grounds would be converted into parks. Governor’s House Nathia Gali would be transferred into a high level resort hotel under the supervision of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government.

The minister said no decision has been taken regarding the conversion of Punjab, Sindh, KP and Balochistan houses located in Islamabad.

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