Bilawal Bhutto has often received flack for being inexperienced. His public speaking style, where he speaks Urdu with visible difficulty, has been criticised as unimpressive and disconnected from the masses, and his sometimes quite valid points are overlooked due to the lack of charisma.

It seems however that Bilawal is intent on showing the Pakistani public his growth as a political leader. His Trip to Davos, Switzerland, where he attended the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2018 Annual Meeting accompanied by PPP vice-president Senator Sherry Rehman, has been a success. Attending many conferences on extremism, journalism and young panellists, Bilawal Bhutto made a strong case for Pakistan, encouraging investment, and expertly refuting to uninformed criticisms of Pakistan for harbouring extremism. However, where he most impressed was during his first interview with an Indian publication, India Today, where he skilfully handled the questions of the interviewer of extremism, army and Pak-India relations.

Whereas Bhutto’s public speaking skills have been questioned before, the political leader was much polished now, speaking at ease and with confidence. Where he shone, however, was his unwavering political will in the interview, where he did not succumb to badmouthing the country or any of its institutions. His response, when asked of the military, was of strong support to the Pakistan Army, which shows a strong and united front of a country that is in it together, despite the many battles we fight internally. This united front is needed especially in regards to the consistent border violations India participates in, including the killing of 6 civilians earlier this month due to a border shooting by Indian soldiers.

Bilawal also provided a good answer to the interviewer’s exaggerated question on US hostility to Pakistan, clearing that Pak-USA relations were not as bad as India was hoping they would be. He disparaged populist leaders like Trump and Modi, and clarified that if India wanted peace, it needed to take concrete steps.

Generally, Pakistan’s visit to Davos was a small success, when compared to the giant obstacles and hostile powers we face today. Despite political and international chaos, Pakistan is still working on creating a business-friendly environment, with Prime Minister Khaqan Abbasi making a good case for Pakistan by engaging the business leaders, company leaders of telecom, automotive technology and health care sectors at WEF. Pakistani politicians did a good job by showing that despite fighting tooth and nail inside the country; in an international setting, they were all united for Pakistan.