PM Sharif’s cost of foreign travels was shared in a data presented in the National Assembly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in February this year. The premier spent a total of 185 days [July-December 2015] abroad in 65 foreign tours which cost the exchequer Rs638.27 million.
In contrast, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign trips cost the exchequer over Rs 377 million in a year – unlike PM Sharif whose travel costs jumped to mighty Rs 638 million in just six months.
The figures related to Modi’s travel costs were revealed under Right to Information Act – the law, which makes a daunting task for a common man in Pakistan, to get access.
Read more: Modi makes ‘surprise visit’ to Pakistan
Modi visited 20 countries between June 2014 and June 2015. Among the most expensive trips were those to Australia, the US, Germany, Fiji and China while the cheapest trip was Bhutan which cost Rs 4.3 million. In Australia, the mission spent over Rs 50.6 million on hotel stay for the PM and his delegation and Rs 20.4 million on hiring cars.
On the other hand, PM Nawaz Sharif visited United Kingdom the most –at least 17 times. He nearly two months in the UK, of which 32 days were listed as official stays while 24 were listed as transits.
It’s pertinent to mention that Panama Papers that caused political storm in Pakistan also revealed that PM’s children owned firms in UK.
The leaked papers, comprising 11.5 million documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, exposes how some of the world’s most powerful people have secreted their money offshore, and also implicated Sharif’s sons Hasan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz and Maryam Nawaz for having secret offshore accounts in UK.
During each transit, the premier stopped for at least a couple of days which cost the nation Rs137.8 million.
He visited Saudi Arabia five times, followed by US and China which he visited four times. However, after UK, Nawaz had spent the most time in the US visiting the country for around 18 days.