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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Aseefa Bhutto’s presence during FM Bilawal’s official visit to Japan sparks controversy

The controversy surrounding Aseefa Bhutto's presence during FM Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's official visit to Japan has ignited a broader debate about the role of family in politics.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is currently in Japan on an official trip. His sister Aseefa Bhutto Zardari is also accompanying him. However, her presence has sparked controversy on social media.

Images of Aseefa Zardari meeting Japanese officials and also sitting in meetings went viral on social media. Netizens, including journalists and political figures, are questioning her participation despite holding no public office.

While family members accompanying politicians on official visits are not unheard of, Aseefa’s presence has garnered significant attention and triggered a wave of speculation.

Read more: PPP’s Aseefa Zardari distributes bananas to woo voters

Critics argue that Aseefa’s participation in such a high-level diplomatic endeavor raises concerns about nepotism and the potential for a blurred line between personal and official interests. Some question whether her presence serves any definite purpose or if it merely reinforces dynastic politics within the Bhutto family.

Furthermore, skeptics are questioning whether Aseefa Bhutto possesses the necessary qualifications or experience to be involved in diplomatic matters. While she has been an active member of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and has occasionally addressed political rallies, her role in international diplomacy remains unclear.

On the other hand, PPP later clarified that since Aseefa Bhutto Zardari is a UN Ambassador for polio eradication, her presence is justified, mainly because Japan is an important stakeholder and supporter of a polio-free Pakistan.

Moreover, Aseefa Bhutto is visiting Japan on her personal expense and is only attending events within the Pakistani diaspora in Japan.

During his maiden visit to Japan, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto met with his Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi in Tokyo. Both Pakistan and Japan agreed to deepen further and enhance their mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in multiple areas — including trade, investment, human resource development and exchange, IT, tourism and agriculture sectors.

A day ago, Bilawal Bhutto had met the Pakistani diaspora in Tokyo, where he had emphasised the need for increased bilateral trade between the two countries.

Read more: Who did it better: Maryam Nawaz or Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari?