Watch | 'Bilawal Bhutto Will Be Sworn in as Pak Foreign Minister Within 14-20 Days'

Journalist Hamid Mir explains to Karan Thapar why the chairman of Pakistan’s People’s Party, the second-largest constituent of the ruling coalition, chose not to be sworn in on Tuesday.

In an interview to explain why the chairman of Pakistan’s People’s Party (PPP), which is the second-largest constituent of the ruling coalition, chose not to be sworn in on Tuesday as a minister and what that means for the new government, one of Pakistan’s foremost journalists, Hamid Mir, says this means the government has “got off to a bad start”.

Hamid Mir told The Wire that the explanation given to him by PPP sources is that Bilawal Bhutto could not join the government because he needed to sort out many outstanding constitutional issues but those, Hamid Mir added, are issues that were in fact sorted out in January. If, therefore, that understanding has broken down this is another reason for believing the government has got off to a bad start.

In a 15-minute interview with Karan Thapar for The Wire, Hamid Mir said that all the positions in government that were filled on Tuesday as well as other constitutional offices like the chairmanship of the Senate and positions of governor, had been decided and agreed upon between the different parties of the ruling coalition as far back as January. Now, it seems, this understanding has failed to hold in many areas.

Mir adds that, in a sense, this is underlined by the fact it took Shehbaz Sharif eight days to get his coalition partners to agree on a cabinet.

The journalist pointed out that another important constituent of the coalition, the Baloch National Party (BNP), which broke with Imran Khan to support Sharif, was also absent at Tuesday’s swearing in. In the interview, Mir explains why and adds that this problem will be quickly sorted out. The BNP will soon join the government.

Finally, Hamid Mir said that he believes Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will be sworn in as foreign minister within 14-20 days.