Saturday May 21, 2022
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto has sought broader, deeper relations with the US, saying Islamabad must continue to engage with Washington at all levels.
During an interview with The Associated Press in New York, Bilawal Bhutto termed the meeting with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken “very encouraging and very positive and productive.”
“This meeting was indeed an important first step and we believe that Pakistan must continue to engage with the United States at all levels,” he said.
The top Pakistani diplomat has concluded his maiden US trip during which he attended a global food security conference and held meetings with the US and UN officials.
Bilawal Bhutto told the American news agency that in past the relationship between the two countries had remained under the influence of the events in Afghanistan, however, “it’s time for us to move beyond that to engage in a far broader, deeper and more meaningful relationship.”
FM Bilawal, during the interview, stressed the world to deal with Afghanistan’s humanitarian and crumbling economic crisis immediately, saying, “Regardless of what we feel about the regime in Afghanistan, the world can’t abandon the Afghan people.”
“A total collapse of the Afghan economy would be a disaster for Afghans, Pakistan and the international community,” he told AP.
Speaking about coordination in the economy, defence and military, the FM said, “if we continue to engage, then we can move forward in a more positive direction.”
FM Bilawal rejected Imran Khan’s accusation of US conspiracy to topple his government through a confidence motion and termed it a “fanciful conspiracy theory based on a big lie.”
“I am particularly anti the politics of hate, division and polarization,” the foreign minister said. Adding that “If we consistently pursue the politics of ‘you’re with us or against us,’ whether that’s on an international level or a domestic level, I don’t believe it serves the interests of the people of Pakistan.”
Commenting on his upcoming visit to China, Bilawal Bhutto said, “I don’t think that our growing relationship with the US will damage ties with China.”