When PTI leader Imran Ismail took oath as the 33rd governor of Sindh he promised to open Governor House to the public. He fulfilled his promise, sort of. The house isn’t open but the gardens are.
Before the elections, the PTI promised to open up the lavish governor houses for public viewing. The governor’s official residence in Sindh was opened for public tours on September 7.
The gilt covered gates open at 6am and close at 10pm. Not many were immune to the lure of checking out the palatial residence of the province’s governor, a sight only a select few have seen before. SAMAA Digital took a trip to Governor House to see what all the hype is about.
To get in, you have to present your ID card for registration and pass through a metal detector. The first thing you see when you walk into the compound is a lush green garden. Ahead is a Victorian era fountain with sparkling water, completing the image of grandeur.
Then it comes into view – the spectacular Governor House, made entirely in British colonial style. But as you walk towards the towering structure, guards come into view, blocking people from proceeding.
The public isn’t allowed to go inside the actual building. We’re only allowed to walk around the garden and take pictures of the fountain. Hundreds of dreams of floating around the mansion were dashed in the split second it took for the guard to shake his head.
Looking around the newly dubbed garden of despair, there is a book made of marble telling you the building was completed in 1939. There are some very old trees as well, as their plaques tell you. But nothing is mentioned of the history boxed up inside the house, hidden from the prying eyes of the public who paid for it.
Enjoying the sight of the garden and returning from the half-visit of Governor House left people with more questions than answers. Did the government really fulfil its promise?