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Agencies
September 16, 2018
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Given huge protocol despite request: Alvi

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Agencies
September 16, 2018

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KARACHI: President Arif Alvi on Saturday clarified that he was given a VVIP protocol from the airport to his residence in Karachi despite his request not to give him a ‘huge protocol.’

After a video made rounds of the president being accompanied by over two dozen cars from Karachi airport, Alvi took to twitter and said that he had only asked for two to four cars to accompany him.

"The long chain of official cars following me is despite the fact that I asked all officials present at the airport not to embarrass me with a huge protocol and that one or two cars in front and one or two cars behind may satisfy their security needs. Did not happen. We have to try harder," he tweeted.

The president's protocol also appeared to include more cars as in the video, the protocols given to Sindh chief minister and governor were also captured.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Sindh Governor Imran Ismail had gone to the airport to receive President Alvi as he returned to the metropolis for the first time since taking office. President Alvi arrived in the city on Friday night. The president reportedly picked up his own luggage from the conveyor belt at the airport and also queued to board the airplane rather than opting for VIP facilities. He said that he told the officials not to embarrass him before the masses by providing him VIP protocol. Separately, when a Twitter user asked about the police mobiles stationed outside his house, President Alvi responded, "We should look into this too and not become a nuisance for my own neighbourhood where I have lived all my life." "I do not begrudge security but when it becomes painful for the common man we should draw a line somewhere," he added. He said that limit of security vehicles should be fixed for protocol.

Last month, Prime Minister Imran Khan had expressed his displeasure over official protocol given to him while travelling from Banigala to a private hotel in Islamabad. The PM had remarked: “I was given official protocol (while coming here today) — the country cannot be run like this."

Following the premier's remarks, some of the vehicles had been sent back. Meanwhile, President Alvi visited Quaid-i-Azam's mausoleum and laid a floral wreath on Saturday morning. Governor Sindh Imran Ismail, Sindh Minister for Local Bodies Saeed Ghani and others accompanied the president on his first visit to the mausoleum after assuming office. Special prayers for development, prosperity and security of the country were offered on the occasion. The president also recorded his impressions in the visitors' book.

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