In a country whose constitution defines role of a President as symbolic, it is surprising that he has wasted crores of rupees in needless foreign junkets which have yielded no benefits for this country. What has Pakistan to gain from his most recent six day visit to UK, other than one more free trip at tax payer money?.
It has become a routine for every President, PM, CM, Speaker or other important paid or elected public office holder, in civvies or khaki, to embark on pilgrimage to holy land on assumption of office. Such visits like performance of Umrah must be undertaken only on your own personal finances because they serve to seek Almighty’s blessings and repentance for sins committed by individual. It is perhaps time that an audit be carried out for all foreign tours, including performance of Umra undertaken by any public office holder including PM etc and others on payroll of state.
For starters utility of President Mamnoon’s last foreign trip to UK must be assessed through audit, and cost recovered from his salary and pension. Why should the duration of President’s foreign visit be six days? The duration of stay on state expense on any foreign visit must be confined to bare minimum necessary for conduct of official business.
In any case other than expenses of spouse accompanying the elected or paid public office holders for important foreign visits, the state must not be burdened with cost incurred for their children or friends accompanying them.
MALIK TARIQ ALI,
Lahore, August 25.