Indian journalist Rajdeep Sardesai questioned PPP Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto on his diplomatic achievements by attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) moot in Goa, India.
Pertinent to mention that this was the first time in 12 years that a Pakistani foreign minister visited India. Therefore Bilawal Bhutto stole all the limelight when he attended the two-day moot in the coastal city, as all the Indian media was focused on him.
During his visit, Bilawal Bhutto gave an exclusive interview to India Today TV’s Consulting Editor Rajdeep Sardesai on Friday who asked hard-hitting questions from the young foreign minister, the clips of which are going viral on social media.
Read more: India-Pakistan tensions flare at SCO meeting of foreign ministers
At the onset of the interview, Rajdeep Sardesai stated that nothing was gained from Bilawal Bhutto’s visit to India as he was not able to hold any talks with top Indian diplomats and was unable to quell the tensions between India and Pakistan.
“It appears that your visit has not been able to break the ice between India and Pakistan. From what we gather, no conversation with our Minister Dr Jaishankar, unconfirmed reports of a handshake, and little progress made in breaking the ice. Am I right in saying that nothing has really been achieved by you being in India?” Rajdeep Sardesai said.
Pak Foreign Minister @BBhuttoZardari plays terrorism victim card in conversation with @sardesairajdeep. #Pakistan #SCO2023 #Goa pic.twitter.com/aP3v495O8d
— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) May 5, 2023
Success of Bilawal Bhutto’s visit to India
Bilawal Bhutto’s visit to India has sparked a debate on social media with his critics calling it a diplomatic misstep, a sentiment apparently shared by India as well. This was further fueled by the Indian Minister of External Affairs Jaishankar’s alleged cold shoulder to Bilawal Bhutto when he did not extend a handshake towards him.
Furthermore, Dr Jaishankar made some uncalled-for remarks and he is being slammed for his behavior towards the Pakistani delegation. Speaking to Indian media at a press conference held after the end of the summit, the Indian minister called Foreign Minister Bilawal “a promoter, justifier, and I’m sorry to say, spokesperson of a terrorism industry which is the mainstay of Pakistan”.
Read more: Uneasy interaction between FM Bilawal and India’s Jaishankar goes viral
On the other hand, Bilawal’s visit to India was also praised as it achieved what Pakistan wanted i.e. participation in the SCO and separate sideline meetings with all SCO members except India. Pakistan’s presence at the summit also speaks to changing geopolitical realities and the visit to Goa— in a larger context — will benefit Pakistan.
Responding to Rajdeep Sardesai’s comments, Bilawal Bhutto said that his visit to India achieved the goal i.e. Pakistan’s participation in the SCO.
“As far as the success of my visit, the aim of my visit was to attend the SCO of which Pakistan is a member and to that end my visit has been successful,” Bilawal Bhutto responded.