Parliament-shy Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has spent more time abroad than in the house which elected him to office in his tenure so far.
According to data presented in the National Assembly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the premier spent a total of 185 days abroad in 65 foreign tours with accompanying staff of 631 officers which cost the exchequer Rs638.27 million.
By contrast, the premier visited the National Assembly just 35 times during his 940 days in power.
Of all the countries Nawaz visited, he frequented United Kingdom the most –a whopping 17 times. According to the data provided, he spent nearly two months in the UK, of which 32 days were listed as official stays while 24 were listed as transits. However, during each transit, the premier stopped for at least a couple of days which cost the nation Rs137.8 million.
He visited Saudi Arabia five times, followed by US and China which he visited four times. However, after UK, Nawaz had spent the most time in the US visiting the superpower for 18 days.
Turkey was another favoured destination for Nawaz who is known to harbour close ties with the nation. He has visited the country at least once every year.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2016.