THE ‘National Unity’ Government received a boost on Thursday when PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari joined the Shehbaz Sharif-led federal cabinet as the new Foreign Minister of Pakistan.
This is for the first time that the PPP leader has assumed a public office, becoming the youngest foreign minister in the history of the country.
Bilawal’s joining the new system is significant in many respects as this not only augurs well for the strength and stability of the coalition government but also for the PPP as its leader will get first-hand knowledge of international affairs, a subject that was very dear to his grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and mother Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, both of whom excelled in the external front during their times, contributing a lot in advancing the cause of the country.
No doubt, Bilawal is a newcomer in the Foreign Affairs Ministry but his lack of experience would be compensated fully by his junior Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, who performed successfully in the ministry in the past.
Bilawal himself has explained what he and his party want to achieve when he remarked that as the second largest coalition partner, the PPP will play its role in restoring democracy, passing electoral reforms, fighting for a fairer economy and advancing Pakistan’s cause on the world stage.
There is no doubt that Pakistan faces daunting challenges on the external front – subdued relations with the United States, not enviable ties even with our closest friends in the Middle-East, consistent propaganda against the landmark initiative of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that has started contributing immensely to the socio-economic development of the country, new dimensions of Kashmir issue as India has forcibly annexed the disputed territory and its occupation forces are carrying out physical and economic genocide of Kashmiris and indications of open frictions in Pak-Afghan relations.
We are sure that the ideal duo of Bilawal-Khar has the potential to deliver as far as damage control is concerned and to effectively safeguard Pakistan’s interests at regional and global levels.
Bilawal was groomed by her talented mother, who was one of the great leaders of the Islamic world, and he has done well in politics over the years.
Hopefully, he would live up to the expectations of not only his party but also the people of Pakistan.
His grandfather was the architect of Sino-Pak friendship and it is logical strengthening of multi-dimensional relations with China should be his priority number one as this offers satisfactory solutions to most of the economic and financial woes of Pakistan.