FM Bilawal Seeks to Broaden US Ties
LAHORE MIRROR (Monitoring Desk)– Pakistan’s new Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said on Thursday he would like to pivot away from single-issue transactional relationship with the United States as he seeks to repair frayed ties with Washington.
“Our relationship with the United States has been colored too much by the geopolitical context in our region, and particularly by the events and circumstances in Afghanistan,” Bhutto-Zardari told reporters at the United Nations during his first visit to the United States as foreign minister.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appointed Bhutto-Zardari, son of assassinated former premier Benazir Bhutto, three weeks ago. Sharif took over last month after Imran Khan lost a confidence vote moved by a united opposition, that blamed him for mismanaging the economy, governance and foreign relations.
Analysts have said they do not expect the United States to seek a significant broadening of ties with Pakistan’s new government, but to remain mostly focused on security cooperation, especially on counterterrorism and Afghanistan.
Bhutto-Zardari also said he was not concerned about competing with neighboring India when it came to ties with Washington. The United States and India are part of a Quad security grouping of nations with Australia and Japan.
“Pakistan is not insecure about our relationship with the United States and we believe that the world is big enough for both Pakistan and India to exist,” he said.