ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has emerged as the first ever premier in Pakistan’s history to have made maximum foreign trips in a year costing Rs259 million to the national exchequer.
Official documents available with The Nation revealed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made 14 official trips in the last 12 months and this makes him the first premier to visit different countries in a minimum time span.
According to details, every tour of the premier cost the national exchequer around Rs 20 million, while his trip to the United Nations along with his entourage from September 23 to September 29, 2013 was the most expensive one, costing the national exchequer over Rs80 million.
The cost of Prime Minister Sharif’s first trip to neighbouring China from July 3-7 last year was Rs 26 million followed by his five-day official trip to the United Kingdom that cost Rs 25 million.
With most of his foreign journeys proved much expensive, the prime minister’s Kabul visit was relatively cheap costing Rs 1.2 million where he stayed only for one day. However, his one-day voyage to Netherlands proved much expensive and Rs14.6 million were spent on it. The PM went there to attend the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit.
Likewise the two trips of PM Sharif to Turkey cost the national exchequer Rs 9.6 million, while single trips to Iran, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Netherlands put burden of Rs4.8 million, Rs 9.7 million, Rs 10.2 million and Rs 14.6 million respectively on the exchequer.
Prime Minister Sharif’s expected visit to India to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Narendra Modi as next Indian prime minister will further improve the record of PM Sharif in terms of maximum visits in minimum time.–Asif Bashir Chaudhry