Young leadership can face challenges: Bilawal Bhutto

Islamabad: Chairman Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressed students and Pakistani community at Oxford University, London last day. He said that “the new millennium, with its restless search for identity, and recognition of group over universally defined rights, has changed the way we think, as well as talk about each other.” He added: Let’s take the West. September 11 created an architecture of global counter-terror which has run away with our global bill of rights. Renditions, off-shore prisons, black sites, intel based arrests have become the order of the day. Rights we have allowed to slip away on our watch.” Anger has become the political currency for stagnating lifestyles and unmet expectations. In many parts of Europe, the urge to nationalism resonates with large populations.  The surge towards more exclusion is inevitable, at least in the near future, he said. He said “my concern is South Asia, and of course Pakistan, which, like many centres of the world, is becoming a more illiberal place as we lurch into the next decade without a common regional plan. As Asia integrates with Europe, driven largely by the huge Belt and Road Initiative by China, we in South Asia are busy entrenching ourselves in the language and weapons of hate. With challenges such as climate change, cyber-security and terrorism obliterating borders, we are fighting 21st century battles with the last century’s tools. Despite compelling arguments for connectivity, Pakistan and India remain bitter enemies, defined by old wars and new fault lines of mistrust, instead of trade and job dividends.” He added: “I won’t even say the B-word, but Britain’s first (Br)exit from South Asia has left Pakistan with the baggage of a dispute at the heart of its external security problem. As Kashmir pivots to core flashpoint for local insurgencies against years of ruthless Indian state-terror, we have to ask ourselves what will happen to the dream of connectivity for South Asia? How long will one-fifth of humanity become hostage to the fires of extremism and now, rampaging Modi-led Hindutva populism. “