Benazir Bhutto's son Bilawal becomes Pakistan's new foreign minister
President Arif Alvi administered oath to PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Wednesday who would be joining Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's cabinet as a federal minister.
The oath-taking ceremony was held at Aiwan-i-Sadr, where PM Shehbaz was also present.
Thirty-three-year-old Bilawal was first elected to the National Assembly in 2018. This is the first time he will be serving as a member of the federal cabinet.
The Cabinet Division later issued a notification appointing him as the foreign minister.
Assuming charge as the foreign minister, Bilawal was welcomed at the Foreign Office by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar and Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood. During his visit, Bilawal interacted with senior ministry officials.
FM Bilawal also paid a visit to the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad. He regretted the lives lost in Tuesday's suicide attack outside the University of Karachi's (KU) Confucius Institute.
"The relationship between Pakistan and China is a series of loyalties from generation to generation.
"Terrorists made a failed attempt to strike the foundation of the Pak-China friendship," he said.
His sister Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari had congratulated him earlier in the day for taking oath as the country's foreign minister.
"Today, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari will take oath as Pakistan's foreign minister in this unity government — decided by [the] PPP CEC (central executive committee) and we couldn't be more proud of him! Already outshone in parliament and always stuck to his democratic values — excited to witness this path if God wills," she had tweeted.
Bilawal had also hinted during a press conference yesterday (Tuesday) that he would be allocated the foreign ministry portfolio, while confirming that he would be taking oath as a federal minister today.
When he was questioned by a reporter to comment on matters of foreign policy, he had said he would soon hold a press conference on the issue.
Background interviews with several PPP leaders had earlier confirmed reports in media circles that Bilawal could become the foreign minister, though in-house consultation on the matter was still ongoing at the time.
During yesterday's press conference, Bilawal had also explained his decision of joining PM Shehbaz's cabinet and said "one-sided decision making" was not possible and it was up to all the political parties to find solutions to the problems collectively.
"We have to understand that this isn't an ordinary coalition government. This unity government is a result of the parties on the opposition benches going to the treasury benches for the first time in the history of Pakistan.
"This is a very big challenge [and] everyone must play their role and share their burdens," the PPP chairman had added.
He had expressed the hope that as part of the team, at times the PPP's priorities would be given weight and sometimes those of other political parties would take the forefront so solutions could be found together.
Copyright: DAWN/ Asian News Network (ANN)