ISLAMABAD - Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Monday informed the Lower House of Parliament that Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to visit Pakistan on the invitation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and a date will be finalised as per the convenience of both leaders.

Replying to a supplementary question, Sartaj Aziz told the House that both the countries were already moving forward to mutually in the areas of defence and trade. Putin’s visit to Pakistan will be a significant move in this regard.

The PM adviser while responding to another question told the House that the government was going to build a consulate building in Dubai, UAE. A committee, especially formed for the purpose, had already examined the project, which would be implemented in two phases, he said. About facilities at Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, he said that residential quarters in the commission's premises would be renovated while vehicles of over 7-years-old models would be replaced.

Sartaj also informed the house that the country's mission abroad issued passports to Pakistanis, strictly in accordance with rules, regulations and laid down procedure. However, recently a case was noticed in which a temporary passport (for return to Pakistan only) was issued to a non-Pakistani. The case was being probed, he added.

Nadra had established machine-readable passport facilities in 28 missions, while around 75 had no such facility. He said that Foreign Office had engaged Nadra officials to impart training to its diplomatic staff for issuance of machine-readable passports, as no manual passports would be issued from Dec 2015. Responding to a question, he informed that the PM did 10 foreign visits during the current year.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday apprised the National Assembly that a sum of Rs257 million was spent on the foreign tours of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during the period of May 2013 to June 2014. As per details, PM's visit to US cost the national kitty around Rs92 million, another trip to US cost Rs35 million, trip to UK in May 2014 cost Rs22 million, the ministry told the assembly in its written reply.