Bilawal questions US on Afghan war

WASHINGTON: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari asked the United States Friday night if it plans to keep its troops in Afghanistan forever or would suddenly pull troops out of the war-torn country.

Addressing a press conference in Washington, DC, Bilawal said the US should let Pakistan know of its plans as peace in his country was linked to peace in the region.

Likewise, he added, economic stability in Pakistan would mean the same would happen in Afghanistan.

However, terrorism and extremism are global issues which all the countries have to combat together, Bilawal stressed.

Terrorism should not be linked to Islam, he added.

About Pakistan’s role against terrorism, Bilawal said the country carried out operations in North and South Waziristan, agencies in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, which were once known as the hotbed of terrorism.

Bilawal said Pakistan has succeeded in eradicating terrorism to a great extent as there has been a decline of 70% over the past decade.

But the world did not know of Pakistan’s efforts and its viewpoint as the country did not have a foreign affairs minister for four years, he lamented.

Speaking about his party, Bilawal said the PPP was the only party that could make Pakistan a peaceful and progressive country.

‘PPP to contest upcoming elections solo’

During the news conference, Bilawal said the PPP will contest the upcoming general elections solo but may consider coalition talks afterwards.

He also spoke about development in Karachi, capital of the province, Sindh, where his party is in government.

He highlighted the recent development in the city, including placement of dumpsters, construction of roads and underpasses, as well as lane expansion on Shahrah-e-Faisal, the main thoroughfare of the city.

“There has been some improvement in Karachi,” he said. “More is to come soon.”

Bilawal said the Sindh government carried out the work on Karachi’s infrastructure with its own resources, adding the federal government should also focus on the city.