UNITED NATIONS: The UN food security meeting that Pakistan has been invited to starts next week but it’s still not clear if Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari will physically attend the meet.

“He has both options, to be in New York for the meeting or address it virtually from Islamabad,” a diplomatic source told Dawn.

A source at the Foreign Office in Islamabad said the foreign minister is likely to decide about his participation in a day or two. In the meantime, Mr Bhutto-Zardari and his close aides are holding consultations over the matter.

In the meantime, there has been intense speculation in Islamabad over the foreign minister’s expected US trip. A senior member of the PML-N-led government told journalists in Islamabad that “the chances of Mr Bhutto-Zardari’s phy­sical participation are very high.”

But a senior diplomatic source thinks otherwise. He said though efforts are still underway to make the visit happen, but chances are pretty dim. Asked for reasons, the diplomat said one of the considerations is the current political environment is the country.

Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the foreign minister and invited him to a food security meeting at the UN headquarters in New York on May 18.

Pakistani diplomats in both New York and Washington indicated that Mr Bhutto-Zardari would physically attend the meeting as it creates the opportunity for direct talks betw­een the two leaders. They also hin­ted at bringing Mr Bhutto-Zardari to Washington for a separate meeting with Secretary Blinken.

“Physical presence sends a totally different message,” said one of the diplomats. “It also creates opportunities for direct, high level talks between the two countries.”

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2022

Opinion

A crisis of trust?

A crisis of trust?

Most damaging fallout of the constant demonisation of opponents by political leaders is erosion of public trust in politicians.

Editorial

An unseemly dispute
08 Aug, 2022

An unseemly dispute

THERE is clarity, but perhaps not of the kind that Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial hoped to achieve when...
Unfair on taxpayers
Updated 08 Aug, 2022

Unfair on taxpayers

Unfair move has drawn valid criticism as it coincides with drastic increase in income tax on salaried people and corporates.
Polio nightmare
08 Aug, 2022

Polio nightmare

AS if the resurgence of polio in southern KP were not enough, officials and international monitoring bodies must now...
Political stunt
Updated 07 Aug, 2022

Political stunt

The former PM is attempting to make a very expensive point with his decision to contest all 9 NA seats going up for by-election.
Monsoon emergency
07 Aug, 2022

Monsoon emergency

AS another wet weather system has entered Pakistan, and the federal government has declared a “monsoon...
Taliban’s denial
07 Aug, 2022

Taliban’s denial

THE Afghan Taliban’s recent statement denying any knowledge of the now deceased Al Qaeda chief Ayman...