Foreign Minister (FM) Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari recently got candid while talking about his mother’s legacy, assassination, and his foray into politics.

In a wide-ranging interview on Thursday with The Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth, Bilawal, who is currently representing Pakistan at World Economic Forum in Davis, agreed that if his mother Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had lived Pakistan would have been a different place.

“I think that not only would Pakistan be a different place, but our region would have gone in a different direction. She had a vision and clarity that no one had at the time,” he said of his mother, the first female Muslim Prime Minister in the world.


Responding to a question about where he was when his mother was assassinated in 2007 in Karachi, he said, “I was a freshman at Oxford”. Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in an attack in Rawalpindi in 2007, right before she was to lead her party to the polls.

Speaking about his early stages in politics, Bilawal—who is also chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)— said that his party thought that it was important for him to take a “ceremonial role leading the party to keep them united”.


When asked whether he could become prime minister this year, FM Bilawal said he would have to win an election first.

“Obviously, my party will be hoping that we win,” he said, hinting towards a coalition government if his party wins the most seats in the general elections scheduled for later this year.

During the interview, the young minister reiterated that Pakistan’s new leadership, both political and military, will hold no talks with terrorist organisations who don’t respect the country’s laws and constitution.

He said that former PM Imran Khan gave the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) a place to hide; not only did he release prisoners who were in Pakistan’s custody, but also engaged in a dialogue with them. “He [Imran Khan] has always been ideologically sympathetic to their point of view,” he added.