Powered by
Sponsored by

'No one has sixth sense': Bilawal Bhutto defends Imran's trip to Russia

Reiterates Shehbaz govt is maintaining a cautious policy on the Ukraine crisis

bilawal bhutto AP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari | AP

Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan is expected to give a call to his supporters on Friday for a 'long march' to Islamabad to push for new national elections.

The long march, if it materialises, will herald a new standoff between Imran's PTI and the coalition government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, which is backed by the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

However, on Friday, PPP leader and Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is winning praise among Imran Khan supporters for defending the former prime minister.

Bilawal, who is on a visit to the US, spoke about Imran's trip to Russia, which coincided with the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Imran's trip to Russia and his government's 'neutral' stance on the conflict was panned by his critics in Pakistan and also some in the West. Imran has been alleging the US had sought to topple him as it was unhappy with his 'independent' foreign policy, including on the Ukraine crisis.

At a news briefing at the UN headquarters on Thursday, Bilawal was quoted by Dawn as saying “As far [as] the former prime minister’s trip to Russia, I would absolutely defend the former prime minister of Pakistan. He conducted that trip as part of his foreign policy and without knowing that—no one is psychic, no one has a sixth sense—there’s no way we could have possibly known that that would be the time [when] the current conflict will start... And I believe it is very unfair to punish Pakistan for such an innocent action.”

Bilawal reiterated the Shehbaz government was maintaining a cautious policy on the Ukraine crisis. “We are not part of any conflict. We do not wish to be part of any conflict. In fact, we would continue to emphasise on the importance of peace. We would continue to emphasise on the importance of dialogue and diplomacy to resolve this conflict as soon as possible. And we will certainly not take any side or take the side of any aggressor within this context,” Bilawal was quoted as saying by Dawn.

According to ARY News, Bilawal said “It will be wrong to blame Pakistan over Russia visit. We are tired of facing back-to-back wars. Our children and women have been martyred and now we think that war is not the solution to any issue.”

Bilawal did emphasis “As far as the former prime minister is concerned, I can’t defend his politics, I can’t defend his manifesto, I can’t defend his government.”


📣 The Week is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TheWeekmagazine) and stay updated with the latest headlines