Bilawal Bhutto Wants to Normalize Relations With India Despite Kashmir Issue

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has hinted at normalizing bilateral ties with India, underscoring it as the only way to influence policymakers in the neighboring state.

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif meet Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari . INP

While addressing an event at the Islamabad-based Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS), Bilawal questioned:

Does it serve our interests or do we achieve our objectives, whatever they may be, be it Kashmir, be it rising Islamophobia, the Hindutva supremacist nature of the new regimes and the governments in India? Does it serve our objective that we have practically cut off all engagements?

However, India undermined Pakistan’s position on Kashmir by changing the special status of the disputed region and the recent Islamophobic remarks by the BJP official, which has made the resumption of ties between the two countries extremely difficult, Bilawal admitted.

Referring to the trade war between the US and China, the Foreign Minister said bilateral economic relations between the two countries was the only reason their trade war didn’t get as bad as most were predicting.

All sorts of bilateral ties between India and Pakistan have been suspended since August 2019 when the Modi-led government abrogated Article 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution that granted special autonomy to Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly protested the unilateral move and took a hard-line stance against it. However, the new government appears eager to restore ties with India.