“Bilalwal addresses Woodrow Wilson institute in Washington”


Washington Feb 7 :chairman ppp Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Tuesday proposed a mutually acceptable verification mechanism, arrived at with international assistance , between Pakistan and Afghanistan to investigate allegations of cross border intrusion of militants.

Addressing scholars and researchers at the Woodrow Wilson think tank in Washington on Tuesday he said this was a ‘credible and doabe way forward’ to address concerns about militants crossing over borders with impunity that has bedevilled peace in the region.

“Extremists and militants of any persuasion who seek to advance their security and foreign policy agendas are a threat to peace and security and must not be allowed a foothold anywhere”, he said.

The Haqqani network  must be dismantled and disarmed but this can be done by concerted and coordinated action both by Pakistan and Afghanistan based on a credible and  verifiable mechanism and not by resorting to blame game, Bilawal said.

The interactive session at the Woodrow Wilson institute was participated by former ambassadors, Ex state department officers and researchers and scholars of peace and security issues in the south Asian region. Spokesperson senator Farhatullah Babar and former senator Akbar Khwaja were also present.

Bilalwal pleaded for burying the bitter past and looking forward to overcome the challenges that threaten our very existence today, Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said.

Besides Pak-US relations the ppp chairman also spoke about the fragile civil military relations, the state democracy and human rights, mysterious disappearances, forthcoming general elections in the country, reforms in tribal areas, need for economic revival, and fighting militancy in a holistic manner.

The use of religion as a weapon of war in Afghanistan and turning a blind eye to the emergence of non state actors in the name of religion was a grave strategic mistake, he said. containing the consequences of disastrous policies of the past called for political will and sincerity of purpose which can come only by making a clean admission of the blunders made, Bilawal said.

About President Trump’s tweets he said these generated heat instead of throwing light on serious foreign policy issues. Strong arm tactics and coercive diplomacy  gravely undermines rationality in public discourse, he said adding that serious foreign policy issues could not be addressed through tweets.

Bilawal also reminded the audience that the US was no less responsible in creating the monster of militants and jehadis.

I have seen photographs of former Jehadi commanders feted by President Reagan in the White House where they were greeted by the US president as “moral equivalents if George Washington”.

Today the so called moral equivalents of George Washington have held my country and the region hostage, he said.