Gilani's unscheduled Dubai visit cost Pak exchequer Rs one crore

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Islamabad, July 15 : Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's unscheduled diversion from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai, instead of landing at Islamabad after attending the D-8 Summit, cost the national exchequer more than one crore rupees.

Gilani and his 40-member delegation, including one member from the Opposition and five businessmen, had left the country on July 7 to attend the Summit. More than 50 security personnel and bureaucrats had gone to Kuala Lumpur in advance.

According to some members of the delegation, the team was to land back in Islamabad. However, the plane was diverted to the UAE, where Gilani and some other PPP leaders were to attend a party meeting. According to sources in the PIA, the flight diversion cost the government a total of Rs 16 lakh in terms of aviation, fuel and some other charges.

Besides this, they added, keeping in view the summer, which is a "season" of travelling, the extra use of plane cost the PIA over Rs 50 lakh, reported The News.

After reaching Dubai, some bureaucrats and members of the delegation were accommodated in the luxurious "Grand Hyatt Hotel", one of the most expensive hotels in the world. The remaining delegation members were "checked in" in yet another luxurious hotel "Move-n-Pick".

The country's Information Minister Sherry Rahman, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Syed Khursheed Shah and Minister for Kashmir and Northern Areas Qamar-ul-Zaman Kaira had directly reached Dubai from Pakistan to attend the CEC meeting.

According to the sources, 40 rooms were reserved in the Grand Hyatt Hotel besides the rooms reserved in the other hotel. Those members of the delegation who were not part of the PPP meeting remained "stuck to their rooms" as a tour of Dubai was not scheduled.

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