Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari struggled to defend the practice of dynastic politics in Pakistan during an exclusive interview with CNN’s journalist Becky Anderson.
During the live interview, Bilawal was asked whether the criticism regarding political dynasties in Pakistan is valid, to which he replied that such dynasties exist elsewhere, comparing the situation to Hillary Clinton’s political aspirations after her husband, Bill Clinton, had served as the 42nd President of the United States.
Interrupting him, Anderson stated, “no, that is not a good answer, it was a really important question”.
Bilawal then struggled to reply to the question, vehemently stating one can criticise nepotism but ultimately “who the people decide they want, that is what matters”.
The PPP leader then proceeded to divert the question back to Imran Khan’s party and countered that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is rife with dynastic politics. “In his [Imran Khan] federal and provincial representatives, he relies heavily on Pakistan’s dynastic families.”
Bilawal then stated that he was forced into politics, “I didn’t choose this life, it chose me.”
He recounted that his grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was hanged by a military dictator and his mother, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated by terrorists.
As the interview drew to an end, the PPP leader stated, “for whatever reason people end up doing politics, we believe in democracy”.
Earlier during the interview, Bilawal was asked whether he could confirm the speculation surrounding his post as foreign minister, to which he declined to answer.
The PPP leader admitted it was “difficult” for his party, the second-largest within the coalition government, to accept him as working with their main political rival, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
“However, whatever the party decides will be in the better interest of the country.”
Moreover, the PPP leader insisted that it was imperative for the political alliance to work together for the restoration of democracy.
On April 12, it was reported that the PPP appears to be reluctant to join the federal cabinet due to division in its ranks as most of its leaders are seeking support for electoral reforms without taking ministries while others are of the view that the coalition government won’t last for even two months if they opt to keep to the sidelines.
In this regard, sources said Bilawal and his father, PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, have started consultations on the matter in the light of different and contradictory views.
They said most of the PPP leaders are seeking the new federal government’s support for electoral reforms without taking charge of ministries.