It’s not in Pakistan’s interest to cut ties with India: FM Bilawal
Speaking at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, while supporting trade and relations with other countries, especially India and the United States, said that Pakistan was isolated in the world due to past policies, saying cutting ties with India would not serve the country’s interests.
In his first major foreign policy speech since taking over the portfolio of foreign minister in April this year, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari spoke about the country’s important relations and questioned the nature of past foreign policy.
Addressing a government-funded think tank, Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, the Foreign Minister said that the coalition government has received an internationally isolated country and disconnected from international relations.
He identified India and the United States as countries with which Pakistan’s relations have been strained.
The already strained relations between Islamabad and Washington were further strained earlier this year when the former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government accused the United States of plotting to oust its government.
PTI chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan launched an aggressive campaign after being sacked by a no-confidence vote in parliament and demanded freedom from alleged “Imported Government”.
However, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken contacted Bilawal Bhutto Zardari shortly after taking office and invited him to a food security conference where the two met.
However, allegations of “regime change conspiracy” are having a long-term effect on bilateral relations.
The PTI government had cut diplomatic ties with New Delhi after the Indian ruling party ended the sovereignty of occupied Kashmir in 2019.
After which the incidents in Occupied Kashmir and the measures of Hindu supremacy against Muslims in India have again created obstacles in the diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Islamabad’s position has been that it wants to normalize diplomatic relations but it is up to India to create a conducive environment for doing so.
In his address, the Foreign Minister emphasized the importance of diplomatic relations with India and said that it was time to focus on economic diplomacy and contacts between the two countries.
The Foreign Minister argued that it was not in Pakistan’s interest to remain disconnected despite a long history of war and conflict and the actions of the Indian government in occupied Kashmir and its anti-Muslim agenda.
Referring to the issue of Muslims being walled off in Kashmir and India, he said that these issues were the basis of Pakistan’s statement and the government was taking up these issues in a very serious and aggressive manner.
The Foreign Minister said that if Pakistan had established economic ties with India in the past, it would have been in a better position to influence Delhi’s policy and would have prevented both the countries from coming to the extreme position.