FM Bilawal audaciously defends IK’s Russia visit and prefers to “reset” Pak-US damaged ties – Telegraph Nepal

N. P. Upadhyaya (Aryal)

Kathmandu: Unbelievable it may sound but it is true.

Is a mind-boggling affair in that how could a person who had all along a bad mouth and spitted venom for the unceremoniously ousted Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan could speak tentatively in defense of the political dignitary whom he hated most till yesterday?

Politics never travels straight perhaps?

This gentleman remained ever against the functioning of Imran Khan while the latter was Prime Minister of Pakistan and now suddenly a volte face?

He treated and took Imran Khan as his personal “adversary” not so in the distant past.

However, things appear to have changed and the “gentleman” has come to his senses the moment he is a part of the “government” where one has to necessarily follow the set policies of the regime as per the demands of the nation and the national interests- albeit political ones.

Yes! We are talking of the changed stance of Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari-the world’s youngest foreign minister of Pakistan who spoke tentatively in “favor” of Imran Khan’s foreign policy initiatives which forced Khan to proceed to Moscow despite the warnings from certain highly powerful and influential political quarters suggesting PM Khan not to visit Moscow or else face the music.

Video Clip by @aniqnaji on Twitter, May 20,2022:


Bilawal Bhutto while defending Prime Minister Imran Khan for his Moscow visit in February early this year said so many things which when listened to compels us all to think that “when being inside the State Machinery one has to act as per the structured policies that have been crafted by the State in its political interests and conducts.

Let’s listen to how Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari defends his political “bête noir” Khan on foreign policy matters:

The new Pakistani foreign minister Bilawal says: “I would absolutely defend the former Prime Minister (Imran Khan) for his visit to Russia. PM Khan visited Russia without knowing the war would break out (between Russia and Ukraine). It is unfair to punish Pakistan for such an innocent act”. Khan conducted the visit as a part of his foreign policy and without knowing that Russia is all set and prepared to declare war on Ukraine.”

The most important part of Bilawal’s defense of Imran Khan was the use of the phrase as to “no one has the sixth sense”?

BBB or Baby Bilawal Bhutto to which he is no more a baby in his maiden trip to the US at the invitation of his USs counterpart, Antony Blinken, addressing a press conference said that “ he completely defends Imran Khan’s visit to Russia as there was no possibility that Imran Khan would have known about Russia’s plan to invade Ukraine”.

Here is a twist of Himalayan dimension:

According to the ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan, the decision to visit Moscow at that point of time was also given a “go ahead” by the all powerful Army in Pakistan.

This, if so, means much for the people and the State of Pakistan.

Simply because, let’s presume for the moment, that the Army had the knowledge that if and when PM Khan visited Moscow, the entire US administration would instantly become annoyed and may, in all likelihood, wish to oust the incumbent Prime Minister?

Should this then mean that the Army too was complicit in the entire “game plan” that ousted PM Imran Khan?

However, we at this paper are least interested in what were the politics behind the scene during the ouster, as the internal politics of Pakistan must be and is internal affairs of friendly Pakistan and thus we have no authority to expand the affair out of proportion which may be “objectionable” to the friendly people of Pakistan.

It is their exclusively internal affair and thus we have nothing to say more on the concern that revolves around PM Khan’s ouster.

But then yet, it would be opportune and an act of wisdom to read in between the lines to what the Indian Daily The Hindustan Times writes on the affair we just discussed in the earlier paragraph.

For the HT news desk, Poulomi Ghosh writes, May 20, 2022 that, “While Imran Khan’s Moscow visit exactly at the time when Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized the military invasion into Ukraine, leading to the ongoing war, came under fire, Imran Khan has made it clear that it was not his decision. The establishment (Army) gave him a go-ahead to continue his scheduled trip to Russia. Imran Khan alleged that the US was miffed with him because of his Moscow visit, though the US has time and again distanced from Pakistan’s internal crisis in the run-up to the no-trust motion”.

We leave it up to the readers to draw their own conclusions.

However, the Indian media, as far as we understand, remains ever in a state of “hunt” to accuse the Army of Pakistan.

( Pakistani media’s inaction has benefitted Indian media to twist the Pakistani issues in a desired way that suits their interests).

So while drawing conclusions, one has to keep in mind the fact that Indian inimical media prefers a greater conflict between the forces that count in Pakistan with the sole aim of “weakening” the Islamic Republic.

Bilawal in facing the US Press not only exhibited his political maturity but also presented himself as an astute diplomat in the way he handled the “serious an issue that it was” in the eyes of the US which, Imran Khan charges as the main force which sidelined him from the Islamabad political/authority of the State.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto’s soothing and sympathetic words brought into use to defend Imran Khan’s maiden Russia visit under the invitation of President Vladimir Putin hints or signals so many political messages to all those “to whom it concerns”.

If one were to believe the continued pronouncements by the ousted Prime Minister Imran who claims that he was “ousted” as per the signals of the lone Super Power-the USA, then the sudden and unexpected turn of events in the US wherein Bilawal Bhutto summarily rejected the theory that “Khan by visiting Moscow” have had taken a different foreign policy track and that had in several ways annoyed the Cold War ally the US.

Given the rumors in Washington DC that PM Khan is “solely responsible” for the “abject deterioration of the Pakistan-US ties” and the new Foreign Minister’s determined claim that Khan did no wrong by visiting Moscow does tell that Bilawal would wish to erase the misnomer that Khan should be held answerable for the corrosion in the ties with the US.
Now again to Bilawal Bhutto:

The new foreign minister of Pakistan Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in many more ways than one appears to have jolted, let’s presume so, the entire US administration when he told straight or sounded his US counterpart, veteran diplomat, Antony Blinken, that PM Khan did what was in the best interest of Pakistan.

So says ousted Prime Minister Khan that why he wanted to visit to Russia simply because, according to The Hindustan Times, May 20, 2022, that, “and Pakistan was trying to establish its ties with Russia as Pakistan-Russia ties have always been strained as Pakistan had sided with the US against Russia in the Cold War fought against the Soviets and the US in Afghanistan”.

Observers in Nepal opine that whatever Prime Minister Khan says of the US is tentatively correct as we too have been watching the political alignment and realignments that were in place during the frightening Cold War period and it is no longer a secret that Pakistan all along had sided with the Super Power US as it saw its national interests served by aligning with the US which, as the things stood then, knowingly or unknowingly tied itself with Pakistan for multiple political reasons.

Pakistan needed a strong partner and the US found in Pakistan a good and reliable partner to counter the increasing Soviet threat in South Asia more so in Afghanistan.

Foremost was the Indian regime was excessively close with the then USSR and this demanded the US to go in search for an alternative regional force and a matching regional ally which was Pakistan.

In the process, this Pakistani alliance with the US or vice versa was very important and significant too for the US to challenge the then USSR, as stated earlier, which had invaded Afghanistan.

Nepali observers even claim that the Pakistani establishment under various and different “Military Generals” who were very close to the US regime brought Pakistan “more than needed close” to the US.

To recall, when Pakistan was dismembered/fractured/split in the seventies, its ally-the US did not come to assist Pakistan which saw the emergence of Bangladesh.

While meeting Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “”BBhutto Zardari and I reaffirmed our shared desire for a strong and prosperous U.S.-Pakistani bilateral relationship. I look forward to expanding our cooperation on climate, trade and investment, and regional peace and security issues,” Blinken tweeted.

Despite the fact that visiting minister Bhutto defended Khan’s Moscow trip, yet Blinken says that the US wants to see the bilateral ties with Pakistan in a healthy state.

More so, Blinken desires Pakistan to work with Pakistan for the “regional peace” which obliquely implies that the US prefers to eye on Afghanistan through Pakistan.

The Express Tribune dated May 16 reports that : the meeting between Bilawal and Blinken came against the backdrop of strained ties between Pakistan and the US. The relationship during the PTI government between the two countries remained tense and there had been further dip in ties when former premier Imran Khan directly held the US responsible for his ouster.

A Hindustan Time reports claims that “the Secretary underscored the resolute US-Pakistan commitment to Afghan stability and combating terrorism, ” the US state department said in a statement after the call. “The Secretary and Foreign Minister also highlighted ongoing engagement on trade and investment, climate, energy, health and education.”

Here once again the US is concerned on regional security which by implications means peaceful Afghanistan through Pakistani help to which PM Khan apparently had denied.

Now it remains to be seen as to how the US administration reacts to Bilawal’s defense of PM Khan’s Moscow trip against the backdrop of Secretary Blinken’s fervent desire to “resetting” of the deteriorated US-Pakistan ties.

Moreover, what remains yet to be seen on how Minister Bilawal strikes an “accurate balance” in Pakistan’s ties with the US and its bête noir China.

Mind it that FM Bilawal went to China immediately after the US visit.

This is both important and significant. Let’s wait and see how the politics unfolds against the backdrop of Imran Khan’s phenomenal popularity that has taken an upward swing after his much publicized “unceremonious ouster” from the Prime Ministerial Chair.

Fresh reports say that Islamabad’s political temperature has reached an all time high with Imran Khan’s men have entered the Capital demanding early polls.

Sources say that the Military has been already deployed to contain the frightening situation across Pakistan.

Does this mean that Khan’s popularity is going up? Keep on guessing. That’s all.

End text.


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