ISLAMABAD: The sprawling homes of Pakistan’s Prime Minister will be dedicated to the people and turned into an educational institution. The official residences of Governors will be part of the sweeping austerity measure – they will be turned into hotels or any other revenue-generating venture and the proceeds to go towards lifting the economy, said Imran Khan in a victory speech this evening even before the results of yesterday’s elections were announced.
“I feel ashamed that I will be staying in the Prime Minister’s palace. I will stay in a smaller house,” Mr Khan said, writing off the sprawling mansion where the heads of state have been living since 1970s. “My promise to you is to fix public spending, end the economic crisis,” he added.
The chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which is set to emerge as the single largest party in Pakistan – though short of absolute majority in the 272-member national assembly – chalked out his goals in a half-hour victory speech this evening amid allegations of blatant rigging by other parties.
The 65-year-old former cricketer, who came to power after what he called 22 years of struggle, pitched for development, stability and improvement of the country’s economy. “I pledge today that my policies will not be for the elite but the oppressed, the underprivileged and the minorities,” he said.
The economy, he said, is the biggest challenge Pakistan faces. As the head of the government, he said he would improve governance, improve on the ease of doing business and get Pakistani nationals living overseas to invest in the country.
Holding up the example of closest ally China, he said the country has managed to drag enormous numbers of people out of poverty over the last 30 years.
Pakistan went to polls yesterday in a rare democratic transition of power in its coup-studded history. It was the second civilian transfer of power. The army, which ruled the nuclear-armed nation for most of the last 70 years, still sets its security and foreign policy.