ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi informed the National Assembly on Monday that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s medical treatment in the United Kingdom cost $327,927.45 to the national exchequer.
Mr Sharif stayed in the UK from May 22 to July 9, 2016, and returned after his heart surgery.
During the question-hour, the minister in a written reply told the house that the former prime minister had gone to London by a special aircraft.
“After his medical treatment, a special aircraft arrived in London in July 2016 and departed back the same day with the former prime minister,” Mr Qureshi said.
Foreign minister says ex-PM had gone to London by special aircraft
While sharing the breakdown of expenditure, the minister said $29,777.41 was spent on daily allowances for delegations, $56,657.97 on aircraft charges, $28,981.52 on hiring of transport and $5,840.73 was spent renting of information technology equipment. He said the expenditures also covered establishment of a camp office.
In addition to these expenditures, he said $3,519.57 was spent on renting of mobile phones, $960.75 on miscellaneous items, $28,462.23 on meals arrangement and $173,562.15 on hotel accommodation, while $165.12 was spent on purchase of newspapers.
The minister said: “PIA authorities were approached to share details of expenditure and revenue loss on the aircraft. Informally it has been conveyed that an amount of Rs34,527,268 was incurred on the VVIP flight on July 9, 2016 over and above the expenditure mentioned in para B (above mentioned breakdown). A formal reply including revenue loss is awaited,” he said.
MNA Aurangzeb Khan had asked the minister to state whether it is a fact that a special PIA plane was sent to the UK for bringing back equipment, which were originally sent for setting up a camp office there during the former prime minister’s stay.
The foreign minister said that no equipment was sent from Pakistan for setting up the camp office in London nor a PIA plane was sent for bringing the equipment back to the country, as the former prime minister did go to London by a special aircraft. However, due to his medical treatment, the visit was prolonged, he added.
Mr Qureshi said that as per standard practice, the camp office was established at the Hyatt Regency (the Churchill Hotel), for administrative and protocol requirements.
“Equipment (work station, shredder, printer, photocopier and fax machine) was hired and placed / used in the camp office,” reads the minister’s written reply.
Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2018