Washington, May 11 (ANI): President Asif Ali Zardari was put up in a 5,000 dollar per night (approximately Rs 410,000) presidential suite at sixth floor of the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington and did not share the floor with other highly protected Pakistani VVIPs.
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, Intelligence Bureau (IB) Director General Dr Shoaib Suddle and Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who all needed top security in Washington, were not given a room on the ultra-protected sixth floor of the hotel during Zardari's stay.
But PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was given a separate suite, which cost 2,600 dollars per night on the same floor. Three sepoys, two lance naiks, one Hawaldar and several other officers below the rank of lieutenant general were lodged on the same floor, said a document published by the Pakistan embassy.
Responding to a journalist's question, a Pakistan embassy official said Zardari's stay was the cheapest as compared with the past rulers, who spent much more money while staying in hotels in Washington.
Moreover, he said, this was the requirement of the hotel that the president should stay at the 6th floor because of security concerns.
He said if other members of the president's delegation would have been accommodated in another hotel that would have been objected to by the critics as discrimination.
He said the Zardari had come to the sole super power of the world to improve bilateral ties. He said what was spent on the stay of Zardari and his entourage at the hotel matters nothing in view of the gains that this trip had made for the country.
No one without an official security badge (clearance pin) could enter the 6th floor, while entry to other floors was open, The News reported.
A total of 26 rooms were available on the 6th floor while on the 5th floor, all ministers and the ISI and IB chiefs were accommodated. (ANI)