Wednesday December 06, 2023

PPP challenged dictatorship but never attacked installations: Bilawal

The FM says Pakistan wants deep, meaningful ties with Russia

By News Desk
June 11, 2023
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. — Twitter/ @JCSura
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. — Twitter/ @JCSura

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Foreign Affairs Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday said the PPP was a party that always challenged dictatorships, including the last one of late Musharraf, but no political party in Pakistan ever mounted an attack like the one mounted by the PTI on May 9.

He said this during an interview with Al-Jazeera during his recent visit to Iraq.

About PTI chief Imran Khan’s allegations, Bilawal said that he was responsible for his downfall and history would prove it.

The foreign minister said the country had faced dictatorships in the past and the PTI chief always supported dictatorships. It was a documented and established fact that he was brought to power through rigged elections.

Bilawal said the announcement by the top brass that the army would not get involved in politics and would remain apolitical had definitely upset the PTI’s supporters.

People were offended over the incidents of May 9 when the PTI supporters attacked the GHQ and corps commander’s house, he added. He said the elements involved in those incidents would face legal consequences.

To a question, Bilawal said, “We don’t believe the change could come by overnight,” adding the change could be brought about by the democratic forces in the society. He said the change should take place through civilian and political process involving parliament. Imran Khan had paid little attention to parliament.

“The fate of the country can’t be decided on streets but by parliament,” he stressed while underlying the need for the civilian and political leadership to strengthen the democratic role, squeezing space for others.

The foreign minister said that he did not regret returning to Pakistan to realise the vision of his mother. “Pakistan is transitioning towards democracy.

He reiterated the Pakistani government was committed to enhancing engagement with Russia though deep meaningful ties. He said they wanted to maintain neutrality over the Ukraine conflict.

He maintained that the floods last year that devastated large parts of Pakistan were not only significant for the country but for the entire world.

Despite many economic and political challenges faced by the country, ranging from climate change to Russia-Ukraine conflict and domestic issues, the foreign minister said he was confident that the people of the country would come together to overcome these ordeals and build a better future.

To a query, he said after the fall of Kabul, the international community had many expectations from the new rulers. “Pakistan’s position is in line with the position of the international community,” he said, adding the international community wanted the Taliban rulers to provide women’s rights and education and that the Afghan soil should not be used for terrorist activities.

Bilawal termed the restoration of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran as a positive development. “It is a positive news not only for the two countries but for the whole region and for us,” he said, stressing that through engagement, all the issues could be resolved paving way for peace dividends.

The foreign minister strongly rebuffed the allegations against China’s investment in Pakistan and said that it was unfortunately a reflection of “biased attitude”. He said all weather strategic cooperation between Pakistan and China was based upon economic prosperity.

Pakistan was engaged with China, through China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a flagship of “One belt one road’ initiative under which China was completing different energy and road infrastructure projects, he added.

About his visit to Iraq, he said that it would further enhance the bilateral and economic cooperation between the two brotherly countries. They also wanted to strengthen the security and defence cooperation and share their experiences learnt from terrorism. For the promotion of cultural and religious ties, both the countries agreed to ease visas for tourism, he added.