Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Sunday that he did not see the need for holding early elections in the country on the demand of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, as the government looked for solutions to internal problems.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera, the foreign minister said that the current government inherited “a divided country and a collapsed economy” from its predecessor, adding that early election would further the agenda of the previous government.
“In order to address the challenges inherited from the previous government, it is essential that the whole country gets united as no single political party or individual can address the situation alone,” he said. “The government is looking for solutions to internal problems and consensus at the international level.”
Rubbishing the accusations of a foreign conspiracy behind the removal of Imran Khan, Bilawal, also the Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), said the political leaders were supposed to speak the truth to their people instead of coming up with such conspiracy theories. “It is for the first time that a prime minister was removed constitutionally through a vote of confidence and not through a coup or court order.”
Asked about the early elections, Bilawal said that instead of furthering democracy, the early elections would instead further Imran Khan’s agenda. He stressed the important of completing the five-year term of the assemblies unless there was any urgency which currently was not there.
To another question, Foreign Minister Bilawal said that Kashmir was an unfinished agenda of the Partition, and since Narendra Modi’s election, the space for Muslims in India as well as the Kashmiris was shrinking.
He said the people of Pakistan and Indian wanted to live in peace but in order to achieve that it was essential to respect international laws and conventions to address the issue of terrorism and extremism.
Coming to Afghanistan, the foreign minister said that Pakistan was engaging with the war-torn country in the interest of its own as well as the neighbourhood.
However, he said that the TTP had been involved in terror attacks in the past, which were still going on. He said that Pakistan would work with the Afghan government to address the challenge posed by the terrorist outfits.
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