WASHINGTON: Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has told his party workers that he is in the US on a private visit and will come again in September.
The PPP leader, who landed in New York on Sunday afternoon, met his party workers at the JFK airport before leaving for an undisclosed destination, apparently in Wyoming, to attend a conference.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah is already in the US, fuelling speculations about the presence of two key PPP leaders at a time when the Biden administration is reviewing its strategy towards South Asia.
The Americans are worried about the fate of the Afghan government after the withdrawal of their troops from Afghanistan and want Pakistan to play a role in arranging a power-sharing deal between Kabul and the Taliban. Pakistan has offered to cooperate in this effort but has categorically said that it was neither asked for nor offering bases to the US military.
Both pro- and anti-PPP elements are linking the visit to the US concerns about Afghanistan, ignoring an earlier PPP statement that this was a private visit.
PM’s special assistant Shahbaz Gill triggered the speculations with a statement claiming that Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was looking to strike a deal with the United States.
Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2021