F-16 and Pakistan foreign minister “kya karen?” diplomacy

Mayank Chhaya-

If the tone of Pakistan’s 34-year-old Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari during an interaction at the Wilson Center in Washington DC on September 27th is any indication Islamabad may not be particularly eager to revive any semblance of normalcy with India just yet.

Bhutto Zardari went out of his way to highlight the 2002 Gujarat riots, the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s handling of them and how the U.S. revoked his visa until he became prime minister.

The comments were provocative, especially in the way they were delivered.

However, on the question whether war in any situation in the world was wise, he said somewhat cryptically that he agrees with Modi’s counsel to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin against it.

Bhutto Zardari was rather flippant in his dismissal of India’s concern over the $450 million package to refit Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jets to support counter-terrorism operations. India’s Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, also in the U.S. at the same time as his Pakistan vis-à-vis made headlines when he said neither the US nor Pakistan was fooling anyone by claiming that fighter jets were meant for counter-terrorism operations, implying that their primary purpose was against India.

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