Travel expenditure: Interior ministry spends exorbitantly on foreign visits

Published: May 6, 2012

Rehman Malik’s 37 foreign trips alone cost at least Rs29.3 million. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Since Rehman Malik became the interior minister in 2008, close to four dozen ministry bureaucrats made 120 trips abroad. Official documents revealed that the finance division has disbursed up to Rs80.7 million for travelling purposes, from which, Rs29.3 million accounted for the interior minister’s expenses alone, since 2008.

Malik made at least 17 official visits to the United Arab Emirates, aimed at discussing the extradition of wanted fugitives and absconders, most notably of former president Pervez Musharraf, with officials of the Interpol. The trips yielded no notable returns.

Official documents available with The Express Tribune revealed that the interior ministry sent some 177 proposals for foreign visits to conserve foreign exchange on various security-related issues to the finance ministry for approval. The finance division only found 99 of those worth approving. The division also cited that it had already released Rs40 billion out of Rs55.80 billion to the interior ministry for the fiscal year 2011 to 2012.

The interior minister also visited the UK twice to discuss the extradition treaty with his counterpart. He spent Rs4 million on these two visits, seven days in total, in the UK. The documents further disclosed that around Rs12 million amounted to the airfare expenditure alone for the interior minister’s visits to Iran, UK, UAE, Afghanistan and several other countries.

Former interior secretary Qamar Zaman visited five countries. He spent Rs3.4 million when he travelled to Qatar in 2009; France, Germany and USA in 2010 and India, France and UK last year.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2012.

Reader Comments (19)

  • Sarah
    May 6, 2012 - 9:43AM

    And this is a poor, indebted country.

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  • Ahmer Ali
    May 6, 2012 - 11:30AM

    Doesn’t matter make hay while the sun shines.

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  • curious
    May 6, 2012 - 11:38AM

    That’s nothing new. Western country foreigner ministers travel alot too on taxpayers expense.

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  • Imran Con
    May 6, 2012 - 11:42AM

    It might not look so bad if he actually, for once in his career, actually brought closure to one issue or another. It’s more like he just likes to change up the background for the cameras when he makes some tall claim that fizzles out and gets forgotten, rather than actually anything happening.

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  • Rehman
    May 6, 2012 - 11:44AM

    Ghareeb qoum k Shehzaday siyasatdan

    Why Interior Minister travelling abroad, his job is to look after his own country

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  • Rehman
    May 6, 2012 - 11:47AM

    @curious:

    Western country foreigner ministers also resigns when they charged with corruption let alone guilty of corruption.

    What you are talking about?

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  • Chilli
    May 6, 2012 - 11:53AM

    Exterior Minister .. I think a better portfolio for our minister…

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  • Faisal W
    May 6, 2012 - 12:27PM

    he’s the interior minister.. for true introspection he needs to be outside the country. infact i think all politicans should be outside the country. that will leave the police to do their actual jobs, and also solve the issue of traffic jams!

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    May 6, 2012 - 12:59PM

    ET has forgotten to mention the foreign trips which the Federal Interior Minister Mr. Rehman Malik to Islamabad-Karachi-London and back which he has made to keep the PPP-MQM coalition government intact.

    Mr. Rehman Malik does not travel alone. His personal staff also travel with him wherever he goes for official or on political trips.

    At this age, Mr. Rehman Malik has too many responsibilities on his shoulders.

    After all, he has to justify to the PPP government that he is the only right man for doing the right job.

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  • OP
    May 6, 2012 - 1:41PM

    Jeeay Bhutto! Jeeay Zardari!

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  • Meekal Ahmed
    May 6, 2012 - 3:21PM

    ET should write about ALL foreign tours at tax payer expense.

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  • choptocut
    May 6, 2012 - 3:22PM

    But how this report tell us anything whether these expenditures are greater or less than previous governments’ expenditure? There must be a comparison with the past or with the other developing countries ministeries if we are to decide justly that who is spending more or less and according to what standards.

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  • wali baba
    May 6, 2012 - 3:43PM

    i think this fund could have been spent on maintainance of Zoos all over the country. that would have been more beneficial

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  • Peer Sain
    May 6, 2012 - 3:46PM

    The joke was he made the excuse of getting Musharraf. What is he a criminal? He is the one who released Zardari who was jailed by Nawaz Shareef. He was the one coz of whom they are all enjoying power. Had he held on in wardi what could these people done? Nothing. Only to please a lunatic Nawaz Sharif PPP makes non-serious statements and non-serious trips abroad for shopping and site seeing. When foreign country ministers travel, they have a fool proof agenda and perform a task. As Interior Minister what business do you have abroad, and so many trips. Beats my imagination.

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  • May 6, 2012 - 4:58PM

    Why worry, dear country-men !

    To meet these expenses, they keep a currency printing machine in the corner of their offices. Inflation and price hike etc. is just nothing, but propaganda of opposition.

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  • Abid P Khan
    May 6, 2012 - 7:10PM

    @Zahid Hussain:

    “Why worry, dear country-men !
    To meet these expenses, they keep a currency printing machine in the corner of their offices. Inflation and price hike etc. is just nothing, but propaganda of opposition. “

    .
    Were it not for the kindness of the taxpayer’s, we won’t be able to meet the ends either.

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  • May 6, 2012 - 9:48PM

    It’s a perk of the job for our current politicians.
    We the people should demand to know their schedules because we are paying for their trips.
    This should be published on line with a full list of expenses.

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  • Ahmed
    May 7, 2012 - 8:06AM

    His only jobs is to transport the bags full of stuff to its interim destinations. What is in these bags only RM and the president can perhaps enlighten us.

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  • Silver
    Jun 4, 2012 - 10:13AM

    What a Rich country

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