Speculation rife after Bilawal’s detour in US

Pakistani diplomats say reason was missed flight; PPP workers claim it was for an important meeting

Picture - source AP

Bilawal Bhutto’s detour in the US has raised speculations as instead of New York, he reached Washington and later boarded a car to go to New York.

According to officials of the Pakistan Embassy, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had missed his direct flight from Samarkand to New York, which caused the detour.

However, according to media reports, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) workers in New York and Washington had received emails from their local leaders saying that Bilawal will go directly to Washington. The email had said that the reason for the detour was some last-minute changes and the PPP chairman would go to New York after Washington.

According to reports, there have been speculations in PPP circles inside the US that Bilawal had met someone important in the US capital.

On the other hand, Pakistan Embassy officials and UN diplomats have denied any such meeting, calling the speculations ‘political gossip’. One diplomat told media that Bilawal was already scheduled for a three-day visit to Washington on September 25 and would hold meetings with senior US officials.

A diplomat has been quoted in the media as saying, “So, it does not make much of a sense for him to stopover in Washington for a brief meeting before moving on to New York.”

Meanwhile, there have been claims that the meeting was part of an effort to arrange a face-to-face meeting between PM Shehbaz Sharif and US President Joe Biden.

The prime minister, who was in London on Sunday, is expected in New York on Sept 19 to attend the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).