Pakistan: With 3 days left for polls, Bilawal Bhutto's 'promise' for Kashmir

He vowed to 'advance the cause of Kashmir' if elected Prime Minister

Iran Pakistan Pakistan People's Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari | AP

With three days left for the Pakistan presidential elections, Pakistan People's Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto has promised to advance Kashmir's cause if he is elected the Prime Minister. 

In a post on X, coinciding with Pakistan's so-called 'Kashmir Solidarity Day', Bhutto wrote that PPP's success on February 8 was essential to stop 

"Indian atrocities" in Kashmir. "By ending the politics of hatred and division in Pakistan, it is inevitable for the nation to unite in the power of unity and consensus for the cause of Kashmir," Bhutto said, adding that Muhammad Ali Jinnah had declared "Kashmir as the aorta of Pakistan."

He also promised to follow in the footsteps of former PM and his grandfather Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and mother and former PM Benazir Bhutto. "I will advance the cause of Kashmir by being elected Prime Minister. I will awaken the conscience of the world to fulfil its promises to Kashmiris," Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Political leaders in Pakistan often rake up Kashmir just before the elections with some calling for restoring Article 370 for Kashmir.

Bilawal has also been urging people to vote against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led by Nawaz Sharif. During an election rally, Bilawal told people to vote for the "arrow", his party's election symbol, if they wanted to "stop the lion", which is PML-N's symbol. "You just get PPP won [elections]. I will handle this lion," he said.

Sharif is considered an ardent advocate of having good ties with all neighbours, especially India. "Improving ties with India has always remained a point of conflict between Nawaz and the establishment in the past. Whenever Nawaz Sharif came to power, he tried to shake hands with India against the wishes of the powers that be," the paper quoted an unnamed expert.

On the other hand, Bilawal Bhutto is famous for his anti-India rhetoric, even targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  In 2022, Bhutto triggered a major controversy when he said "Osama bin Laden is dead, but the butcher of Gujarat lives and he is the Prime Minister of India."

His "uncivilised outburst" was criticised by India, calling it a "new low, even for Pakistan". 

However, he also became Pakistan's first leader to visit India in 12 when he flew down to Goa last year to attend a conclave of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.


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