Thursday June 13, 2024

PPP’s Bilawal Bhutto sworn in as federal minister

President Arif Alvi administered the oath to Bilawal during a ceremony at the Aiwan-e-Sadr

By Nosheen Yusuf
April 27, 2022
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari takes oath as federal minister.  — Twitter/@AseefaBZ
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari takes oath as federal minister.  — Twitter/@AseefaBZ 

KARACHI: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has sworn in as a federal minister on Wednesday, and is likely to be appointed as the foreign minister.

President Arif Alvi administered the oath to Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari during a ceremony at the Aiwan-e-Sadr which was also attended by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari.

Federal Ministers including Rana Sanaullah, Naveed Qamar, Khurshid Shah, Sherry Rehman and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar also attended the ceremony.

Following the induction of Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, the size of the federal cabinet has risen to 38. Besides the 38 ministers, PM Shahbaz sharif also appointed three lawmakers as his advisors.

Second foreign minister from Bhutto family

After Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Bilawal, 33, would be the second member of the family who would serve the country as a foreign minister.

It is pertinent to mention here that his grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was appointed as foreign minister in 1963 at the age of around 34 years. His mother’s, Benazir Bhutto, was also 35 when she became the first female prime minister of Pakistan in 1988.

Both Bilawal and Benazir Bhutto had to enter politics due to circumstances. Benazir Bhutto had to join politics and took the party affairs after the execution of her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. While Bilawal had to assume the post of PPP chairman after her assassination.

Challenges for Bilawal as FM

Following the allegations hurled by former prime minister Imran Khan against the incumbent government and the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Pakistan’s relations with Washington are not good. Improving the ties between the two countries would be the biggest challenge for Bilawal.

Moreover, he will have to review his stance on relations with India to ease tension between the two countries. Islamabad’s relations with Kabul and Moscow will be another challenge for the young foreign minister.

'Youngest foreign minister'

Taking to her Twitter handle, Aseefa wrote: "Congratulations to the youngest Foreign Minister in Pakistans history @BBhuttoZardari."

"The task is daunting, and the previous government have hurt our international standing but I have no doubt that you will make our country, party, and family proud," she added.

PPP’s Bilawal Bhutto sworn in as federal minister

Following taking oath as federal minister, Bilawal called on President Alvi at the presidency. During the meeting, matters of mutual interest and other issues were discussed.

President Alvi congratulated him on assuming his office.

On Tuesday, following a meeting of the PPP's Central Executive Committee (CEC), the PPP chairman had announced that he will be taking oath as a federal minister today (Wednesday).

It is pertinent to mention here that Bilawal was present at the time when the initial federal cabinet members were inducted last week, however, he did not take the oath. But Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb had assured that the PPP chairman would take the oath after he returns to Pakistan after meeting PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Bilawal said former prime minister Imran Khan's "foreign conspiracy" narrative hurt Pakistan's image on international forums.

Bilawal had said the PTI chairman's "conspiracies" would continue as he keeps shifting his targets from the judiciary to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The PPP chairman had said Khan violated the Constitution and considered it a "piece of paper", while ex-deputy speaker Qasim Suri and President Arif Alvi were involved in the "conspiracy" with him as well.