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PIX: All eyes on Pak's glamorous foreign minister

Last updated on: July 27, 2011 16:29 IST

All eyes on Pak's glamorous foreign minister

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Rediff Newsdesk

All of 34, Hina Khar Rabbani, Pakistan's first woman and youngest foreign minister, was thrust into the spotlight as she landed in New Delhi on Tuesday. The decision to elevate Khar was made in view of her competency and recent interaction at the foreign office.

Khar had emerged as a front-runner in the race for the slot of foreign minister, which has been vacant since previous incumbent Shah Mahmood Qureshi was removed during a cabinet reshuffle in February.

The absence of a foreign minister was affecting the ministry and foreign policy, government sources were quoted as saying by Dawn news channel.

The face of Pakistan's diplomacy, she made her debut as she held talks with her Indian counterpart SM Krishna on Wednesday.

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Image: Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar arrives at the airport in New Delhi
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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Khar, a headscarf-wearing mother of two daughters, has already grabbed eyeballs in India and Pakistan. Khar is the daughter of veteran politician Malik Ghulam Noor Rabbani Khar and the niece of former Governor Malik Ghulam Mustafa Khar.

She was a member of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q party during former military ruler Pervez Musharraf's regime and joined the ruling Pakistan People's Party ahead of the 2008 general election.

Her elevation as a full-fledged foreign minister would suit the powerful military establishment, which shapes and guides Pakistan's foreign policy, as she is not perceived to be as independent-minded as her predecessor.

She is clearly being looked at as a perfect combination of beauty and brains.


Image: Khar interacts with the Indian media
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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And now both the countries are hoping that along with the glamour, she also infuses a refreshing change in Indo-Pak politics.

Khar has attracted widespread attention in Pakistan, for not many women feature in public life. It comes as no surprise that she is often compared to Pakistan's charismatic former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007.


Image: Khar to hold talks with Krishna on Wednesday
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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The similarities between Khar and Bhutto cannot go unnoticed.

Like Bhutto, Khar too hails from one of Pakistan's leading political and land-owning families.

But the big questions remain -- will she make waves like Bhutto and will she set the forward direction to the Indo-Pak peace process as promised?

 


Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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