Bilawal says will help defuse Pakistan-US tensions

Published: June 4, 2012

It’s not a family business, he says, it’s a way of life, it’s an ideology and it’s a vision for Pakistan. GRAPHIC: ERUM SHAIKH

NEW YORK: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has stated that he is confident that he will be able to bridge the gap between Pakistan and the west, and help defuse the tensions between Islamabad and Washington.

In an interview with Newsweek, Bilawal echoed Pakistan’s position on various concerns that have strained relations between the US and Pakistan in recent months. Defending the way Dr Shakil Afridi’s case was handled by Pakistan, he pointed out that cooperating with foreign intelligence services, even those of a friendly government, is illegal in every country. He further stated that, Pakistan had now restored an independent judiciary and the first democratically elected government of Pakistan intended to uphold the rule of law.

Talking about his mother Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, he said, “I grew up overnight on December 27, 2007.”

Correspondent Eleanor Clift, who interviewed the PPP chairman, during his recent visit to the United States, wrote in her dispatch, “In a country where 60 percent of the population is under the age of 30, the 23-year-old Bilawal sees himself as the modern face of a young Pakistan. He is working to modernise the party through social media and building his political career.”

When pressed on why he would give up a comfortable life in London or Dubai, and return to Pakistan, where there are threats to his life, Bilawal said, “I didn’t choose this life, it chose me. I can’t let my mother’s death have been in vain. Democracy is the best revenge, and we will have it.”

Bilawal is working to set up a foundation in Benazir’s name that would offer sanctuary to women in minority communities who suffer abuse and provide them with legal assistance. He stated that he is proud that the current government has made domestic violence illegal and “passed the most pro-woman legislation in the last four years than all the previous governments combined.”

On Dr Afridi’s case, Clift wrote, “(Bilawal) is worried about another kind of fallout from the phony vaccination program led by the Pakistani doctor.”

“We may very well be the last country on earth with polio now as a result. It’s quite frustrating”, said Bilawal.

“Like many young people, (Bilawal) found inspiration in President (Barack) Obama, but was disappointed there wasn’t much follow-through after his speech in Cairo,” according to the dispatch.

“Quite a few of us had hoped there would be an Islamabad speech as well,” he said.

He further added that the general attitude towards the US, in Pakistan, is not good, and it is getting worse with every drone strike and every innocent civilian killed.

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Bilawal says he can help defuse tensions between Islamabad and Washington. Do you agree?

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Reader Comments (81)

  • Jun 4, 2012 - 1:00PM

    Begaani Shadi main Abdullah Deewana!

    Enough Said!

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  • YP Toronto
    Jun 4, 2012 - 1:12PM

    Pl.defuse tension in Lyari first.

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  • Jun 4, 2012 - 1:14PM

    What does he has to say about continuing drone attacks by US… how can we even expect good relations in such situations..

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  • curious
    Jun 4, 2012 - 1:26PM

    Definitely NOT! He cannot bridge the gap, he does not have the common touch. Which planet does he live on? At the grassroots level he only has support probably in Sindh, but the hearts and minds of the common man is with Imran Khan. In his next life, if you believe in reincarnation he should try to have the common touch and speak and read Urdu at least.

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  • ali farooqi
    Jun 4, 2012 - 1:29PM

    What about Load shedding ? Thats the issues here not the US.

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  • Anserali Khan
    Jun 4, 2012 - 1:48PM

    First come to Pakistan.Visit Lyari and understand their issues and problems.
    Them go to Baluchistan and spend a week in Quetta and listen and understand their problems and please work towards resolving ther problems.
    For sure solve Pakistan–USA problems sitting in Dubai,London..

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  • SK
    Jun 4, 2012 - 1:48PM

    LOLz
    hilarious at best

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  • Irfan
    Jun 4, 2012 - 1:58PM

    He can only follow his father’s footstep

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  • abdullah
    Jun 4, 2012 - 2:16PM

    he z 2 young bt doz nt gt suppport frm d youth of pakistann .coz of the corruption his family has been involved in to…

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  • OG
    Jun 4, 2012 - 2:18PM

    HAHAHA… please!

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  • taimur khan
    Jun 4, 2012 - 2:21PM

    Start off by finding your mother’s killersRecommend

  • Faysal
    Jun 4, 2012 - 2:23PM

    This a headline on ET!!!

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  • Ehsan
    Jun 4, 2012 - 2:23PM

    “When pressed on why he would give up a comfortable life in London or Dubai, and return to Pakistan”

    He will have more comfortable lifestyle here in Pakistan, a royal one…

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  • anyone
    Jun 4, 2012 - 2:27PM

    Yeah right …. Mr 500% in the making !!!

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  • KiJ
    Jun 4, 2012 - 2:33PM

    are we supposed to laugh or cry?

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  • Parvez
    Jun 4, 2012 - 2:35PM

    A little public / political exposure never hurts.

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  • shoeb
    Jun 4, 2012 - 2:38PM

    If he wants to work on something then he should start with bridging the gap between his government and the people of Pakistan.
    And please dear enough with the revengeRecommend

  • salmonrusty
    Jun 4, 2012 - 3:01PM

    He could start by bridging the gap between the rich and the poor in Pakistan, by bringing back the millions stashed away in foreign banks by his dear Ma and Pa.

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  • Rafi
    Jun 4, 2012 - 3:09PM

    Is this young man a Pakistani citizen?
    How does he relate to his countrymen?

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  • Imran Con
    Jun 4, 2012 - 3:14PM

    If the courage statement he made is any indication, he’ll just annoy people. World politics is a lot of “who has the bigger one.” Good intentioned or not, that would be one of many types of things that sparks a size comparison which is counter productive and almost unstoppable without at least some form of casualty that makes one side think they came out on top. Best case scenario would be it coming in the form of something subtle. Worst case, a full on clash to cause humiliation.
    Further, he had just killed any positive views in regard to trust right about the time he commented on the doctor and still ignored the actual charges he was convicted of. That’s an instant “you’re no different.”

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  • neelam
    Jun 4, 2012 - 3:29PM

    good luck , bilawal

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  • Mr. Honest
    Jun 4, 2012 - 3:30PM

    Hilarious indeed!

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  • Jun 4, 2012 - 3:38PM

    “Democracy is the best revenge!” Dear Bilawal, can you please stop using cliche?

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  • Mohammad
    Jun 4, 2012 - 3:55PM

    Bilawal: Your father couldn’t do that, how you will do it??

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  • Kanwal
    Jun 4, 2012 - 4:17PM

    @YP Toronto
    Thats a lot to ask for. After all, who cares about slaves when there are masters to worry about.

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  • Ice age
    Jun 4, 2012 - 4:22PM

    Who is he ?

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  • k m chaudhry
    Jun 4, 2012 - 4:36PM

    @YP Toronto:
    firstly arest ur mother murderer then come in politiciaon of pakistan it is not job of childrenRecommend

  • Ahmad
    Jun 4, 2012 - 4:38PM

    HH Bilawal:
    Please leave us alone,,
    Enough of incompetent PPP leadership..

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  • aarim
    Jun 4, 2012 - 4:42PM

    Pls tell me wht power does he have n who gve him the authority to dissolve anything at all. Who is he anywayRecommend

  • Tammy Omar
    Jun 4, 2012 - 4:48PM

    GIVE US A BREAK PUHLEEZE…………..My biggest fear is that the way things are going in the land of the pure, he might even be sitting in the seat before long. God help this nation !

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  • wahaj
    Jun 4, 2012 - 5:01PM

    “He further stated that, Pakistan had now restored an independent judiciary and the first democratically elected government of Pakistan intended to uphold the rule of law.” What a joke. First remove the PM, and then talk such rubbish.

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  • Jun 4, 2012 - 5:08PM

    well done bilawal we are with you please take local issue in Pakistan some peoples are not to see you in the screen all youth with you and your family G A Bhutto,Recommend

  • Smily
    Jun 4, 2012 - 5:17PM

    He is a naive in politics and Americans are not fools to be impressed by a child who hardly gathers any support back home.

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  • Amman1
    Jun 4, 2012 - 5:19PM

    …..lolzzzz if the Dual nationals are being sacked from the parliment thn dual nationals shall not even comment on PAKISTAN’s important issues as well…..how dare he !!!! who even does not spend even a weekend in pakistan.Recommend

  • Owais
    Jun 4, 2012 - 5:22PM

    Bhutto Politics is a family owned busines- PPP., its CEO will always b a Bhutto!! because they r concerned power may filter through to the average shareholder i.e the public n they will lose the power! Rather than giving fancy speeches in the USA he should get to pakistan n get his hands dirty by sorting out the problems his beloved people r facing!! We misss him Lol

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  • sardar shah
    Jun 4, 2012 - 5:24PM

    sure.
    you can.You have ability to do so with stronger political back ground.
    Go ahead,we are with uRecommend

  • Jun 4, 2012 - 5:24PM

    @khan Muhammad Shah:

    What kind of youth you are talking about? His (Bilawal) class mates?

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  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Jun 4, 2012 - 5:28PM

    He lost all his goowill when he asked Obama for appology. He is getting groomed and will be protrayed as a savior

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  • Shahid
    Jun 4, 2012 - 5:29PM

    I feel sympathy for him. He has to face the wrath of public for mistakes done by his party and family. My sincere advice to him is to stay away from politics and find other ways to serve pakistan if he is realy sincere.

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  • SAJ!
    Jun 4, 2012 - 5:31PM

    I believe, This country would run better without any politician, than having some…

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  • imran
    Jun 4, 2012 - 5:55PM

    ET must seriously consider having a dislike button…. its every readers right to show like or dislikeRecommend

  • Haider
    Jun 4, 2012 - 6:01PM

    The youth is becoming well aware of you people tactics, there is nothing your party could deliver on major issues. At least i am not a foolish person,

    Your emotional words with having no spirit never can relieve this nation, this nation need practical view, we are fed up now and know well about your bottom line of business. Yes in rural areas where people do not have enough education and awareness to discriminate well about your deeds, yes these types of peoples are available easily for you. But in the educated society need solid logic. So, please now choose another way to trap peoples, these tactics are very old now.

    A lover of Pakistan
    HaiderRecommend

  • FF
    Jun 4, 2012 - 6:10PM

    <. Please enjoy London instead. We have real leaders like Imran Khan to vote for now, no need to continue dynasties or elect children into a mans job. Best you start looking for work after graduating for Ox-Bridge, I hear the job market is tough these days in the UK. QQRecommend

  • kazmi
    Jun 4, 2012 - 6:13PM

    Great..u r as genious as your Grandpa BHUTTO was…we the youth r with you…look what’s other youngsters of your age is doing…just batain…batain…thay don’t have any sujjestions of any problem..Innerly everybody knows that only u could do something that’s why they r angry…They knows Lyari problem is not just started..why people forget 80′s when klanshnkof and bombs started in Kyc..at that time ppp was nowhere…Why they forget electricity problem started at the time of early 90′s when anti pppp was in Govt…. anyway threr r only two parties pppp any anti pppp…and we r looking to you now…rather than anti ones because thae even have same agenda….Recommend

  • M. A. Changezi
    Jun 4, 2012 - 6:15PM

    Lol! Someone who never lived in Pakistan has now become the savior of Pakistan. I wonder if this lad even know where the governor house in Karachi is let alone solving our problems. As the first post says, ‘begani shadi main abdullah dewana’.

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  • Abrar
    Jun 4, 2012 - 6:25PM

    Now with the comments, Bilawal can easily understand his and his party’s reputation in common public in Pakistan?

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  • ijazmir
    Jun 4, 2012 - 6:29PM

    This boy Balawal ,He has a Pakistani passport? I do not think so. All foreigners are ruling Pakistan. Therefore they do not have interest to improve local conditions. Pakistan is a money making machine. All MPs senators and minsters. president and prime ministers must prove that they have only one nationality that is Pakistani.

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  • SM
    Jun 4, 2012 - 6:50PM

    Bilawal, you are a nobody.

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  • Imran Mohammad
    Jun 4, 2012 - 6:56PM

    Bilawal,
    How much you respect independent judiciary was evident by your ‘British Accented’ speech in front of semi-literate Sindhi audience back in April when you attempted to disparage and ridicule judiciary by openly playing ethnic and provincial cards. You have one face for local audience and other for international audience
    If readers don’t know what I am talking about, listen to his speech on April 5th, I think, ( on one of myriad of anniversaries of Bhutto family)Recommend

  • sars
    Jun 4, 2012 - 6:57PM

    Democracy has indeed taken revenge from the country in the form of corruption, bad governance and overall idiocy. Thank you for believing that to continue this legacy is your job.
    Please actually get a real job , so you can learn how it actually works when you work in a system.

    This is not a fiefdom where you get to reap the rewards of being born who you are. If you are really interested in politics , most welcome start work as a party worker who works up from the bottom (preferably from your constituency of lyari, loads of work to be done there).

    Thats how it happens in all countries which have so far made any progress. Please attempt all the above before giving ultimatums to the US president.

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  • Muhammad Junaid
    Jun 4, 2012 - 7:00PM

    Mr Bilawal first please spend some time in Pakistan with load-shedding and Hunger then talk like that….

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  • azmat khan
    Jun 4, 2012 - 7:24PM

    @curious
    What is your measure of common touch pl? And how much Urdu knew our Quaid-e-azam pl:

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  • Mansoor
    Jun 4, 2012 - 7:57PM

    Joke of the year!!!! too Hilarious ….. Wao……

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  • Muhammad Kaleem
    Jun 4, 2012 - 7:59PM

    Your party is already IN, before election start you may bring revolution to defuse all existing problem in Pakistan and top the Pakistan economy, GDP, Industrial production, Jobs and implement Islamic/ Shari’ah Law in Pakistan and stop TV channels to spreading negitive thoughts to our nations, awake up and behave like a muslim, a true Muslim, as we have duties, Today you will implement Islamic law in Pakistan and then we will be top nations in the world…. Ya Rab help us and forgive our SINs – AMEEN

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  • resilient
    Jun 4, 2012 - 8:08PM

    the best joke every published on ET….lolzzz..
    the most hilarious part is ET giving it a status of news on front page..lolxx..

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  • ahsan
    Jun 4, 2012 - 8:09PM

    Lolz.. He can’t do anything. “Democracy is the best “Revenge”….heheheheh.. All the citizens of Pakistan are a part of that revenge..What do you say Mr.Bilawal Bhutto Zardari??

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  • Mobashar Ahmad
    Jun 4, 2012 - 8:17PM

    He is not capable to do any such thing. You cannot bridge any gap by first telling the other side you are coward (remember in a press statement he urged Obama to be brave and apologize to Pakistan). He does not have a touch of his mother or grandfather’s charisma.

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  • Shah
    Jun 4, 2012 - 8:37PM

    haha forget about Bilawal, I’m enjoying the way how sleeping PTI Bees atonce fly from all corners to attack – “Honey Bhutto’s” :P
    but only on social media, while most of pakistani population lives in villages, away from media, so you need to reach them with real “honey” if you want to win next elections dear PTI’s, as rural desi mamu-Dada’s are more smarter then urban mummy-daddy kids. and Bhutto’s have reached them decades ago.

    Bilawal: Thumbs Up, your every interview is showing a mature & calm individual. no matter you win next election or not as you are going through your initial stages of politics but we can see a new rising, polished, well mannered & bright leader in you, when they criticise your Urdu so Quaid-e-Azam Urdu was worst then yours, it’s not language accent but your intellect & experience that make a difference, Best of Luck :)Recommend

  • Arif
    Jun 4, 2012 - 9:01PM

    A specific opposite mindset of Bhutto family following through Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to Bilawal Bhutto but what will you do of people of Pakistan who loved Bhuttos.
    Bilawal Bhutto plz go on….People of Pakistan and a common man with you.Recommend

  • Salman
    Jun 4, 2012 - 9:03PM

    First he needs to live in Pakistan long enough to understand the problems. How is he going to ease tensions. Just words with no plansRecommend

  • PakArmySoldier
    Jun 4, 2012 - 10:18PM

    Bilawal should first summon the courage to come to Pakistan and live among its people.

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  • peace finder
    Jun 4, 2012 - 10:35PM

    how did he know that what is the current situation of Our country instead of this he is going to solve it….how funny is that !!!!!
    he just want to involve in the politics like the sons and daughter of Sharif’s family….because In our country politics is inheritance…..:((Recommend

  • Gulfraz Awan
    Jun 4, 2012 - 11:44PM

    you can do every thing is you have positive thinking, if you have lots of lessons from your mother and grand father. take a step peoples with you, you are the future of pakistan,Recommend

  • fazal
    Jun 4, 2012 - 11:48PM

    If Mr Bilabial wants to bridge the gap then he has to first convince US for taking initiative to enter into civilian nuclear agreements with Pakistan as a good gesture .History is witness that US shows step motherly with Pakistn , using stick and carrot policy for pakistan . Only carrot policy for India.Recommend

  • mr. abdul ghafoor
    Jun 5, 2012 - 12:12AM

    dear my fello readers .that ppp. doesnot give any releif our nation .why we thnks they will be good far our nation .doyou think we will be give voteif they still doesnote like to give us any elecity they doesnote have any plan to pervoide any automic plant wich we serve with electcity we runn our factoreis we can runn our bussines. what follish nation weareweare .are wemurders we allowe the other nation throw bums onour nation .our nationassumblly are been cheeters they get doller and sell body humen pakistany tothem .whoes note muslims. .please mr balawer donote singes be murders in orther nations who allways give us toubills pass .please why you went in that country .you are young and your dad is patisant to getting and selling nation blod please stoe and comback like leader jinnah please come bake make your self like princess ulzebeth please come bake make yourself like prophit life you have read all muslims historycall story .that why people does note like ppp……….Recommend

  • Umair
    Jun 5, 2012 - 1:54AM

    Who is he?Recommend

  • Babur Chughtai
    Jun 5, 2012 - 2:48AM

    What a sick political culture where political parties have lifetime chairmen and women and the seat is passed to kids! Where are those land lords with thick facial hairs in PPP accepting a kid as their head!!Recommend

  • Babur Chughtai
    Jun 5, 2012 - 2:50AM

    He doesn’t have support even in Larkana, let alone Sindh or rest of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Ashwin
    Jun 5, 2012 - 3:25AM

    Seems like this guy Bilawal is Pakistan’s equivalent of Rahul Gandhi who basically thinks getting into a powerful position is “desitiny” and is pre ordained. Rahul Gandhi campaigned for 2 years in the recent state polls – the people gave a resounding and tight slap to him and his momma and bought them back to planet earth -Congress Party failed to win even 5% of seats in the recent UP elections ( UP’s population is equivalent to Brazil’s). Now the opposition is more than happy to have this clown campaign as it ends up helping them !!!

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  • Rashid
    Jun 5, 2012 - 5:04AM

    I appreciate your worries for the people of Pakistan but the fact of the matter is people here in Pakistan do not trust US anymore.Recommend

  • Dost
    Jun 5, 2012 - 9:01AM

    Is he joking saying judiciary is independent and rule of law is being followed in Pakistan ? He should first ask his friend Gilani to obey Supreme Courts order as he is a convicted prime minister. Shame to him.Recommend

  • Faizan
    Jun 5, 2012 - 9:16AM

    “Democracy is the best revenge, and we will have it.” I am totally agree with you that you are taking revenge from poor people of this country, you made them beggers under Benazir income scheme program. You know well that what they can buy in PKR1000?
    2 days grocery?
    Why didn’t you start some project with that 50 Billions so that they can be employed.
    This was just part of your party campaign.
    Dozens of people die daily just becuase of your personal interests, corruption, bad governance. What is Democracy? That means every one has equal right. But you are not part of democratic system. you are a prince. Your parents (King & Queen) has given you seltanet Pakistan. Now you are authorized to do whatever you want to do with poor people of pakistan. who can stop you? Is it fair to be chairman of party? Even you spent most of time outside pakistan & living a life like a prince.

    You are modern face of young pakistanis. What are you doing for youth & what you did before rather than making them beggers under fake scheme of eliminating poverty?

    No doubt, Allah will do justice. I am waiting for that time.Recommend

  • saheb
    Jun 5, 2012 - 9:38AM

    how would you do that…a magic stick???
    “23 year old” why is he allowed to talk about Pakistan’s most complicated and important issues.Recommend

  • Haroona Gul
    Jun 5, 2012 - 11:36AM

    Wow, HOW??????Recommend

  • Abid
    Jun 5, 2012 - 12:07PM

    Not welcome!!!

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  • Asim
    Jun 5, 2012 - 1:14PM

    You want to help Pakistan, keep out of it and leave us alone.

    You are not welcome here.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Jun 5, 2012 - 1:56PM

    welcome bilawal
    here everyone is waiting for your supportRecommend

  • fawad
    Jun 5, 2012 - 3:06PM

    a govt or an international entity can fill such kind of gap while it can not be fulfill by a bilawal.Recommend

  • pardesiuno
    Jun 6, 2012 - 4:47AM

    What a joke of a foreigner…. he should stay in Dubai!!!

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  • Programmingdrone
    Jun 6, 2012 - 7:05AM

    This son of Zardari should learn to speak Urdu (the national language of the country he supposedly represents) first. Over 700 people have died in Karachi in the last 5 months. Why doesn’t he solve Karachi’s problem, since his father and PPP is in charge?

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Jun 6, 2012 - 11:25AM

    Mr. Bilawal just take these few steps and see the magic
    1-Release and hand over USA Dr. Shakeel Afridi,
    2-Don’t talk to USA about drones’ strikes to stop and even never complain in this regard,
    3-Restore blocked NATO’s supply routes and
    4-Never insist on to apologize to USA for Salala check post’s willingly,wittingly and intentional attack.
    The US-Pakistan relations shall be normalized without any hard efforts and struggles and all blocked US’ aid shall be restored.So simple

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