Unfazed by sharp criticism over his frequent foreign trips, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has taken a couple of days off to relax in a desert city, enjoying traditional music, wildlife and fresh milk.
Nawaz returned to his old haunt — the Whispering Hills Rest House — in Bahawalpur, to take a break from the business of state.
He spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Bahawalpur and also visited the wildlife reserve of Lal Suhanra National Park.
His close aides were quoted by a media outfit as saying that Nawaz enjoyed a night of traditional desert music performed by locals in the company of his close friends.
On Wednesday evening, the Prime Minister enjoyed dinner with locals in the open skies of the Cholistan desert.
“What Nawaz Sharif most liked in the trip was fresh milk,” a source, who accompanied the premier, said.
Fresh grass grows in February and March giving a peculiar taste to the milk, which only a “true milk connoisseur” can value, the source said.
He enjoyed a variety of cow, buffalo and goat milk, the source added.
Sharif has been visiting the place since the 1980s when he was sports adviser to the then Punjab governor Mian Ghulam Jilani.
On previous trips, he has been accompanied by political leaders, friends and Arab princes in the “sport” of deer hunting. However, Sharif avoided hunting in the Cholistan desert this time.
The premier was briefed about wildlife and forest issues during his visit to Lal Suhanra National Park, a Prime Minister’s House statement said. Sharif is known for his love for good food.
The prime minister’s relaxing trip comes close on the heels of sharp criticism that a whopping Rs 638 million of state money was spent on his foreign trips and he lived at least every fifth day of his tenure out of the cash-strapped country.