ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would remain away from the country till Eidul Fitr which is likely to fall on 18th or 19th of this month, the period crucial in the eyes of political observers as some major developments could occur during this time with far-reaching impact on the future of democracy.

Premier Sharif would be leaving for Norway on Tuesday (July 7) on the invitation of his Norwegian counterpart Ema Solberg. He will participate in the Oslo Summit on Education for Development.

This would be the first officials visit by a Pakistani leader to Norway in over a past decade. During the visit, the premier would address the education summit and interact with several world leaders attending the event.

The premier would also hold delegation-level talks with his Norwegian counterpart to enhance trade between the two countries. He is likely to hold a meeting with Crown Prince of Norway Haakon Magnus.

After staying in Oslo for two days, the premier would fly to Moscow to meet the Russian leadership to discuss the ways and means to enhance cooperation between the two states with the main focus on moving forward from the stained relations of the past.

Sources considered the visit as an extension of Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif’s visit to Moscow during which the defence cooperation between the two countries came under sharp focus.

The prime minister would return home on July 10 and, after an overnight stay here, he would fly to Saudi Arabia to spend rest of the fasting month of Ramazan in the kingdom, offering prayers and performing Umrah, a source in Prime Minister’s Office informed The Nation. The premier would be back home a day before Eidul Fitr, the source added.

Political analysts termed the long absence of Premier Sharif from the country, especially at a crucial time when the Judicial Commission, probing the alleged rigging charges in the 2013 General Elections, has concluded its proceedings and could announce its findings anytime. While the apex court has also reserved judgment in a crucial case, challenging the military courts formed under 21st Constitutional Amendment. In the same case certain portions of 18th Constitutional Amendment were also challenged.

These analysts said the prime minister must not stay out of the country for so long, especially in the given situation, as the findings of the Judicial Commission or the verdict on petitions challenging the 18th and 21st constitutional amendments could shatter the things at political horizon of the country.

Recalling the absence of the premier for about 10 days during the last Ramazan, a political analyst said had Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stayed back to handle the situation, the country could have been saved from facing the long and violent protests and sit-in in the federal capital.