Thursday February 09, 2023

No urgent need for general elections: FM Bilawal Bhutto

In interview with Al Jazeera, FM Bilawal discusses Imran's demand for snap polls, TTP terror threat, Kashmir and more

December 05, 2022
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in an interview with Al-Jazeera. — APP
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in an interview with Al-Jazeera. — APP

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has said that it is important that the assemblies complete their term for the survival of democracy and supremacy of Parliament.

The foreign minister, in an interview with foreign publication Al Jazeera, said that he did not see the need to hold early elections in the country as was being demanded by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. He said that the completion of a full five-year term for the government is a must unless there is any urgency, which currently there is not.

Instead of furthering democracy, early elections would further Imran Khan’s agenda, Bilawal said in response to the question about snap polls.

'We inherited a divided country'

While expressing his view on the country's crises, FM Bilawal said that the current government inherited from its predecessor “a divided country and a collapsed economy.”

However, he said the incumbent government was looking for solutions to internal problems and consensus at the international level.

He said in order to address the challenges inherited from the previous government, it was essential that the whole country unite as no single political party or individual could address the situation alone.

Rubbishing the accusations of a foreign conspiracy behind the removal of Imran Khan, the foreign minister said political leaders are supposed to speak the truth to their people instead of coming up with such conspiracy theories.

He told the interviewer that it was for the first time that a prime minister was removed constitutionally through a vote of confidence, not through a coup or court order.

'Kashmir: an unfinished agenda'

To a question, the FM said that Kashmir was an unfinished agenda and since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election, the space for Muslims in India as well as Kashmir was shrinking.

He said the people of Pakistan and India want to live in peace. To achieve that, it is essential to respect international laws and conventions to address the issue of terrorism and extremism, he emphasised.

The Afghan issue

Coming to Afghanistan, the foreign minister said Pakistan was engaging with the war-torn country in its own and the region's interest.

He said the TTP had been involved in terror attacks in the past which are still going on. He said Pakistan would work with the Afghan government to address the challenge posed by terrorist outfits.