Zardari 'travels' as Pakistan 'burns'

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Islamabad, Sep.9 (ANI): Despite the country's struggle against the existential threat posed by the Taliban and other extremist groups and the economy in shambles, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has been busy in touring the world.

According to a report, Zardari has spent almost 94 days out of Pakistan.

Zardari, who completes one year in office today (September9), made more than 27 official, business and private trips across the globe during the last one year.

Countries like Britain, China and the United Arab Emirates were the most frequently visited nations by Zardari, as the Pakistani premier made five trips to UK and four each to Beijing and Dubai in the last 365 days.

Countries like Iran, Turkey Japan, Libya, France, Russia, Belgium and Tajikistan also figured in Zardari's touring list, The Daily Times reports.

The full detail regarding the cost incurred on the visits are unavailable, but according to an estimate Zardari's nine foreign trips between September 2008 and March 2009 cost a whopping 157.257 million rupees to the national exchequer.

List of Zardari's abroad voyages in 2008 are as follows:

UAE and UK personal visit from Sep 12 to 17.

London: UN and London Sep 21 to 30 to attend the UN GA.

China: October 14-17: four-day official trip to China.

Saudi Arabia: Two-day official trip from Nov 4 to 5.

UN for interfaith conference: Six-day visit from Nov 10 to 15.

UAE: First official visit from Nov. 24 to Nov. 26.

Turkey: Trilateral meeting from Dec 04 to Dec 06.

Visits in 2009:

Afghanistan: Official visit Jan. 06 to 07

China: Business visit to forge economic cooperation from Feb 20 to 24.

Iran: To meet Iranian leaders and attend ECO summit from March 10 to 11.

Turkey: For Third Trilateral summit from March 31 to April 01.

UAE: Private trip from April 13 to 14.

Japan: FODP and Donor Conference April 15 to 17.

China: To meet Chinese leaders and attend Boao Forum from April 17 to 19.

UAE: Private trip from April 27 to 28.

Libya: Official visit from April 30 to May 2.

UK: Private trip from May 3 to May 4.

US: Official visit from May 5 to 8. (stay in New York May 8 to May 13).

UK: Private visit while coming back from US from May 13 to May 15.

France: Official visit from May 15 to May 18.

Iran: To attend trilateral summit one-day on May 24.

Russia: To attend SCO summit from June 14 to 16.

Brussels: To attend first Pak-EU summit from June 17 to 19.

Tajikistan: To attend bilateral, trilateral and quadrilateral meetings from July 28 to 29.

China: Business trip as part of quarterly visits from Aug 21 to 25.

UK: To formally invite UK PM for FoDP- Aug 26 to 30. (ANI)

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