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ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq on Tuesday said the lavish living style of former ruling families indicated that they had enjoyed their tenures in government like the Mughal kings.

They did not miss any opportunity to plunder wealth of the poor Pakistani nation, already burdened with billions of dollars loan, by establishing luxurious camp offices and spending billions of rupees in terms of security arrangements and entertainment allowances, she added. Firdous made these remarks while briefing the media persons here about the decisions taken in the meeting of Federal Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan She was flanked by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam and Federal Minister for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed Giving details of the public money misused by the former rulers and their families, Murad Saeed said over Rs 245 million was spent on running the affairs of camp offices established by former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, three in Lahore and two in Multan. Similarly, he said Asif Ali Zardari wasted over Rs 3.16 billion on his security and camp offices during 2013-18 when he was not even the president of Pakistan.

Some 556 to 820 police officials were deputed for his security during the last five years, he added.

He said when hundreds of children were dying in Thar due to starvation every year, the Pakistan Peoples Party leaders were busy in misusing the public money to maintain their lavish lifestyle. “According to Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and State Bank of Pakistan reports, most of the poor live in Sindh and south Punjab,” he added.

Murad said former prime minister wasted $ 460,000 on his single visit to the United States in 2015 and spent 327,000 pounds sterling on his medical treatment during his visit to the United Kingdom.

Moreover, a plane of the Pakistan International Airlines remained in the UK for several days which incurred additional loss to the national exchequer, he added.

Murad said over Rs 2.14 billion from the taxpayers money was spent on the renovation and security of Raiwind palace when it was declared a camp office by the then Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif to oblige his disqualified brother.

Shehbaz Sharif, he said, also spent over Rs 8.73 billion on his security as chief minister. He also wasted around Rs 1.30 billion on purchase of a helicopter due to his backbone pain.

When Nawaz Sharif was prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif used a chartered plane, dedicated for the Prime Minister of Pakistan, 526 times to move within the country despite having his own helicopter, he added.   He said separate security squads were set up for Shehbaz Sharif’s sons, in-laws and family women at the expense of public money.

Murad said former president Mamnoon Hussain also joined the camp of plunderers as he spent over Rs 300 million on the security of his camp office in Karachi.

On the contrary, he said, Prime Minister Imran Khan and his cabinet colleagues had not set up even a single camp office.

The prime minister even did not live in the PM House, he added.

He said the prime minister would stay at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington during his upcoming US visit, which would cost only $60,000.

He said security expenditure of the Punjab chief minister, under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, had been reduced by 86pc and his travel expenditure by 60pc.

He said the Sharifs spent millions of rupees on fencing of their Raiwind residence, while Imran Khan used every penny on the construction of his Bani Gala residence's boundary wall and road from his own pocket.


Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019