Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the son of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and the chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, stated Friday that his party will reclaim all of Kashmir from India, which has been at the center of a longstanding border dispute between both countries. The 25 year-old politician made the statement after he announced last week that he will contest Pakistan's next general elections in 2018.
"I will take back Kashmir, all of it, and I will not leave behind a single inch of it because, like the other provinces, it belongs to Pakistan," Zardari said, according to the Press Trust of India. His comments were criticized by leaders including former prime ministers Yousaf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. Zardari was reportedly speaking in the context of expanding the reach of his party, including parts of Kashmir governed by Pakistan.
Zardari is the only son of former Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Bhutto, and his political agenda has also supported a full-fledged attack against the Taliban, who have been using the country as a hideout, unlike his rival Imran Khan, who has opposed military action against the militant group.
In January, Zardari had reacted strongly against the presence of the Taliban in Pakistan and said: "It's not only confined to North Waziristan,” adding: “They are attacking us in Karachi... We would like to eradicate the Taliban from Pakistan."
Bhutto Zardari's mother, Benazir, was assassinated in December 2007 while campaigning for the PPP and al Qaeda reportedly took responsibility for her death.