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Pakistan would rather be bridge between China, US: Bilawal

On Thursday, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari stated that Pakistan wanted to be a "bridge by unifying" the United States and China during a time of geopolitical conflict.

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On Thursday, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari stated that Pakistan wanted to be a “bridge by unifying” the United States and China during a time of geopolitical conflict.

The PPP scion made the comments in a Foreign Policy interview, where he insisted that Pakistan’s “unique position as a friend of both the United States and China” might aid in fostering collaboration between the two nations.

“And I like to say that we wanted to be friends with China when nobody wanted to be friends with China. Now, everybody wants to be friends with China,” Bilawal added.

Bilawal said that “not everything is about the geopolitical battle between the United States and China” in response to the interviewer’s claim that the US did not want to be friends with China.

 

He declared that it was “preposterous” and “completely ludicrous” that the US-China relationship was being discussed when Pakistan’s survival and capacity to handle “cataclysmic flooding” were being discussed.

The minister emphasised that cooperation between the two nations was necessary to combat climate change.

In response to Colombo’s economic crisis, Bilawal argued that Pakistan’s situation was “totally different” and that the nation was “going through a climate catastrophe” at the time. He also criticised Beijing for not providing assistance to Colombo during this time.

According to the interviewer, Pakistan was experiencing both an economic and a climate catastrophe.

In the sense that it was purely a result of the dynamics of the economy. But in terms of what China does, whether it is with Pakistan or Sri Lanka, it is entirely up to China. In either of these situations, it’s 100% America’s decision, the minister retorted.

He insisted that rather than widening the gap, Pakistan would prefer to carry on with its historical role of linking the two nations.

“Right now, particularly when we’re drowning in floods, I don’t want to play any part in exacerbating any tensions or being a geopolitical football,” he said.

The foreign minister said that Pakistan’s “wide consensus” had stated that the nation did not want to be “dragged into this conflict” with regard to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“Particularly because we’re just coming out of a decades-long conflict in Afghanistan, and frankly, we’re exhausted by what war does and the consequences for any one country”.

Ayman al-whereabouts Zawahiri’s and the operation to assassinate him were unknown to Islamabad, according to Bilawal, who was speaking about Pakistan’s level of cooperation with the US operation.

Read More: Bilawal Bhutto criticizes KPK govt. for attack on PPP senator’s house

He added that because Pakistan was uninformed of the operation, it did not lend its airspace to the US.

“We were not aware of this. I don’t think anybody was,” he said.

Climate change

For nations that are experiencing climate change, all of which “contribute negligibly to the global carbon funds,” FM Bilawal claimed that he had suggested a Green Marshall Plan.

He added that he had discussed climate justice and hoped it would continue the “expressed position of the president of the United States, and the leaders of many nations in Europe, that we need to invest, get the money together, not just for climate adaptation domestically, but also worldwide.”

According to him, the proposal would be “funded” by the “big polluters” who brought about the problem.

The idea of a debt swap for the environment, whereby nations that owe a debt to the major polluters would trade this obligation, is one of the unconventional solutions that must be developed, he continued.

Bilawal called on the corporate sector to make investments in climate adaptation and said that green infrastructure could be built using the “public-private partnership paradigm.”

The foreign minister responded to inquiries concerning India by saying that Pakistan had not requested or received any assistance from that country.

As their assistance was “their choice, their position,” the minister had nothing to say to his Indian colleague.

“I didn’t ask for help from the United States—they volunteered it. Didn’t ask for help from China—they volunteered. Didn’t ask for help from the Middle East—they volunteered. In times of human catastrophe, I think it tests everyone’s humanity,” Bilawal remarked.

Military role

Discussing the army’s role in Pakistan and its government, Bilawal stated that the army has been “a powerful force” with a “turbulent history with the civilian government”.

“But we have long advocated for all institutions within Pakistan conducting themselves within their legal mandate and transitioning away from the more controversial roles that we’ve had in the past,” he contended, adding that a significant development was the removal of former premier Imran Khan through constitutional and democratic means.

“All prime ministers who were previously removed were either by being hanged, exiled, or through some sort of judicial verdict. So that’s a significant point in Pakistan’s political history, institutional development, and democracy,” Bilawal said.

“If that indicates that our armed forces or our institutions are transitioning from what was a controversial role to a constitutional role, that should be encouraged across the board.”