PPP divided over the possibility of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari becoming Foreign Minister

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The Pakistan Peoples Party is divided on Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari joining the federal cabinet as the new foreign minister of Pakistan in the coalition government under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Some interviews with many party leaders confirmed the reports in some media circles that the PPP chairman might become the foreign minister. However, in-house talk on the matter was still ongoing.

There are two camps in the Pakistan People’s Party. One believes Bilawal should go for the foreign ministry slot. It would provide him with experience in handling international affairs and ultimately benefit him if he becomes the country’s prime minister in the future.

However, other camp members think the PPP chairman should not become a part of the federal cabinet under Sharif. It would undermine his status as the head of the second-largest party in the ruling alliance. This camp also believes the PPP workers may not like to see their chairman working under the PM of the PML-N — the PPP’s main political opponent.

“I have recommended my chairman to become the foreign minister,” said a senior PPP parliamentarian close to Bilawal.

He explained that 64 percent of the country’s population comprised people below 30 years, and Bilawal represented the youth. Moreover, he said, the PPP chairman had immense goodwill in the world due to his mother, Benazir Bhutto, which would help him deal with international issues with world leaders.

It could help him create a good following among those who had not seen former prime ministers Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. The party leader said it would eventually benefit the PPP in the future.

He said Bilawal’s experience as the foreign minister would strengthen his case for becoming a candidate for the future premier.

Meanwhile, a senior PPP leader from the second camp suggested that Bilawal should not get any cabinet portfolio because he would not be able to pay attention to party affairs. Consequently, the PPP could suffer in the next general elections.

A senior PPP member said they were more interested in having constitutional offices than portfolios in the federal cabinet. He said two constitutional seats had already become vacant after the resignation of the speaker and the deputy speaker. He stated the opposition was also intending to remove Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, and then undoubtedly, the PPP would like to get in the office.

According to him, the president’s office could also become vacant either due to the resignation of President Dr. Arif Alvi or through his scheduled impeachment.

After consultations with top government leaders, the sources said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would give the ministries, including Asif Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, and the heads of other coalition partners, in a day or two.

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