Given the flight distance he undertook, Gilani could have made one trip to the moon or 11 trips around the globe. Each of his foreign visit cost the national exchequer at least 10 million rupees. Nobody knows what foreign policy objectives have been achieved as the country continues to remain in global isolation and several heads of states cancelled their visit to Pakistan at the eleventh hour.
Gilani went to the US and the UK five times each in his four-year and three-month stint besides visiting 38 other countries. Out of the 40 countries he visited, only five reciprocated as their heads of government/state visited Pakistan. Among them were Turkey, Egypt, China, Afghanistan and Iran.
As for Gilani’s visits are concerned, he travelled 442,115.42-kilometers whereas the circumference of the Earth is 40,075.16 kilometers. In other words, he made 11 trips around the globe. The distance from the Earth to the moon is 385,400 kilometers, meaning thereby he could have chosen to become the first prime minister of any country visiting the moon.
The visits under discussion were carried out from March 2008 to March 2012. Gilani though remained at the helm of affairs till June 19, 2012 and travelled extensively during that period as well.
The information about his visits was officially obtained by the Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) that got a hold on this only through the intervention of the Federal Ombudsman as the Foreign Office was reluctant to ‘declassify’ this secret. The News subsequently calculated his flight mileage obtaining information from the airline industry to determine the length of distance he travelled.
Zahid Abdullah, the programme manager of CPDI, has termed this lavish spending on foreign visits as ‘vulgar’ and urged the rulers to restrain from this abuse of public money of an impoverished country.
Gilani took over as the PM on March 25, 2008 and went to Egypt in May on his maiden visit abroad. He never looked back afterwards. On an average, he flew abroad every 28th day. He would not go alone but with his family in addition to an army of sycophants, cabinet members and lawmakers unhappy for not getting a ministerial portfolio.
His next visit was in June 2008 to Saudi Arabia where he went again in August 2011. He went twice to the US in 2008 in the months of July and September. Overall, he travelled to the US five times. Gilani visited China, Malaysia, the UAE, France and Afghanistan three times each. He flew twice each to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Switzerland and Qatar. As many as 19 countries he travelled one time included Hong Kong, Libya, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Bhutan, Nepal, Tajikistan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Australia, Maldives, Russia and South Korea.