Tag Archive for 'Hina Rabbani Khar'

Young, beautiful and gossiped about

Young and glamorous women politicians in Pakistan have been hounded for years by rumour and unwanted gossip, writes Mariana Baabar in Outlook.
  •  The Bangladeshi tabloid Blitz, which claims to be the “only anti-jihadist newspaper in the Muslim world”, was started in 2003 by Salah Uddin Sohail Choudhury
  • Preetha Memon, who authored l’affaire Hina-Bilawal, also wrote a 2,900-word story on the “fourth richest politician in the world”, Sonia Gandhi, last week
  • Among Blitz’s five most-viewed pieces is news of Kareena Kapoor embracing Islam in the run-up to her wedding with Saif Ali Khan
  • Blitz says it is looking for reporters in at least 80 countries
  • “Mr Speaker, please stop this yellow taxi from leaving the House,” Muslim League MP Sheikh Rashid Ahmed called out, as the then prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, left her seat to go out of Parliament. Benazir, then in her first term as PM (1988-90) and clad in a yellow kamiz shalwar suit with her trademark white duppata over her head, did not bother to respond as she exited. more

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Hina Rabbani Khar

In The Telegraph, London:

Ms Rabbani Khar and her husband have dismissed the claims as “reprehensible” and “trash”, but they have been reported widely in Pakistan where they spawned conspiracy theories among Islamabad’s political classes.

Senior PPP figures on Thursday said they believed the claims were part of a plot by the country’s feared Inter-Service Intelligence [ISI] agency to damage Ms Rabbani Khar’s reputation because it blames her for her part in facilitating a UN investigation into thousands of missing people detained by the security forces.

In Dawn, Pakistan:

The ISPR spokesman said it is handiwork of those who want to weaken the state by creating misunderstanding between various institutions. It is not something new because such people have been fabricating misleading and impish stories in the past as well, he added.

In The News, Pakistan:

According to The Blitz Weekly, the married foreign minister, who has two young children with her millionaire husband, and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, the PPP Co-Chairman,want to marry and have been regularly talking on the telephone and sending cards to each other. The tabloid claimed President Zardari was firmly opposed to their alleged relationship and had sought details of their mobile telephone conversations to establish the facts.

Pakistan’s Rabbani Khar pales next to Hillary Clinton

Tom Wright in WSJ:

When Pakistan appointed Hina Rabbani Khar, a 33-year-old politician, as its first female foreign minister earlier this year, there was some suggestion that she lacked experience for the job.

On Friday, sharing a podium with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she certainly appeared out of her depth.

Mrs. Clinton masterfully chided Pakistan for not invading North Waziristan and managed not to sound too schoolmarmly in the process, although she did ask Islamabad to “squeeze” the Haqqani militant group a few too many times.

Ms. Khar, by contrast, seemed to get lost in her own rhetoric, saying very little during overly-long answers to reporters’ questions. She often repeated phrases like “both sides of the border” numerous times in one response. It was unclear at points exactly what she wanted to get across. More:

Beyond the Birkin

Dismissing reports of heading a Ministry of Fashion Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar tells Newsweek’s Shehrbano Taseer that she is ‘much more than that’. 
Portraits of stern-faced men in suits line the fawn-colored wall on the third floor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad. They stare down out at you, sizing you up as you walk by. In a few weeks, 33-year-old Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, a soft study in often competing realities, will finally become the first woman to go up on this wall. 
Her surname usually walks into the room before she does. She is the niece of Ghulam Mustafa Khar, a colorful former chief minister and governor of the Punjab and one of the founding members of the Pakistan Peoples Party, to which she now belongs. “He is essentially the whole Khar name,” that, she says, is “obviously misinterpreted” with the concept of feudalism. “I refuse to be hurt by anything which is mine,” she says of her name, “I think one should be proud of whatever they are.” 
Khar may hail from a wealthy, politically-connected landowning family, but don’t call her a feudal. “I can tell you that some people who are rural based—I don’t want to call them feudal—are much more sensitive to the needs of people, it’s like a big family. You feel ownership. If they have a problem, it’s your problem,” she told NEWSWEEK. “I don’t agree with these stereotypical definitions, the truth is often very different.” more

The sacred pyjama

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru greets American first lady Jacqueline Kennedy at his residence. Photo from a catalogue of photo exhibition by PTI.

Our leaders, even Gandhi, Nehru and the rest, understood dress and its import. Sheela Reddy in Outlook:

President Rajendra Prasad, for instance, agonised over it three days before the first Republic Day. Nor did he think his dress dilemma was too frivolous to be openly discussed. In a letter dated January 23, 1950, written on his official letterhead with the crest of the Constituent Assembly, he appealed to Nehru, the greatest arbiter of style in free India. What should I wear? he asks plaintively. “General Cariappa suggested to me…that I should wear a black or grey achkan and churidar pyjama.” Over that the general suggested he wear a blue or orange sash with the Ashok Chakra symbol. He even sent across a sample for trial the same evening. “I am the last person to have any opinion in such matters,” admits Prasad, who usually wore a dhoti and kurta, “and I would like to be guided by you.”

Nehru, who took his dress very seriously, sat down to answer it immediately even though Prasad’s letter arrived “a little after midnight”. It was an old quandary, as Nehru says in his reply. There was a similar discussion when Lord Mountbatten was leaving. He wanted his successor Rajaji to have a distinctive dress for the ceremony. Rajaji agreed, suggesting a sort of academic robe with embroidery. “Somehow or other, nothing came of this,” Nehru writes, and, knowing his acute horror of bad taste, we can almost sense his relief. To Prasad, his advice is: keep it simple. No coloured sash, no chakra, just a black achkan and white churidar pyjamas.

Nor was this the first or last time that Nehru had to take time out from momentous affairs of the state to step in as fashion stylist. Before Independence, the British, with their obsession with appropriateness, had solved the dilemma of a national dress by laying down a strict code for official occasions. After Independence, it was chaos, as the writer Nirad C. Chaudhuri recalls in his Culture in the Vanity Bag. “Young women in the employ of the government of India came to office as if they were going to give a performance of Bharatanatyam. The men appeared in anything they liked, in any patchwork, even at the garden parties and receptions of the President of India.” More:

“Cleavage,” he said.

Mint editor R. Sukumar:

I thought I hadn’t heard him clearly.

He sensed my question even before I asked it.

Big ones, he said, moving his hands out till they were at least 10 inches in front of his chest.

I didn’t want to get technical, so I didn’t point out the obvious, that there was a difference between the two things he had described. His meaning was clear, though. The person, who worked for a business news channel, was telling me why the channel had hired a certain anchor for its morning stock market show.

I didn’t want to hear more though my friend from the channel seemed keen to share with me the unsavoury specifics of what day traders and brokers do when they watch business news channels.

I didn’t pay much heed to what he said till another person, from another business news channel, told me the same story.

She got three times her current salary, for agreeing to leave the top two buttons of her shirt unbuttoned, he said, referring to an anchor who had recently switched channels. More:

Sexist? Trivial? Heck no

Media coverage of Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s recent visit to India was neither sexist nor trivial, argues Vir Sanghvi in his column Parallax View.

According to reports emanating from Pakistan, the country’s Foreign Minister is upset that she was treated as a style icon in India. I’m sorry that the lady should feel this way so let me try and make her feel better by telling her what we all know: Relax! Nobody thinks you are a style icon. We just think you sport very expensive accessories. And that’s not the same thing at all.

In other words, we think you are extravagant. But you ain’t no icon.

Now that we have got that out of the way, let’s focus on the debate we had in India. According to many commentators, our repeated references to Hina Rabbani Khar’s accessories trivialized the debate and were sexist in nature.    

Of the two charges, the one about sexism is easier to handle. It would only be sexist to devote too much attention to the way Ms Khar presented herself if she received the sort of attention that a man would never have received. You can argue about whether gender-based comments are necessarily sexist but  — for the purpose of this discussion, anyway —- let us assume that they are. more

Delhi gushes over Hina

Pakistan’s youngest foreign minister, the 34-year-old Hina Rabbani Khar bowls them over in India’s capital. An AFP report [via Tribune Pakistan}

Hina Rabbani Khar appeared to have had an instant impact on one of the world’s most tense bilateral relations, with her photo adorning the front pages of most Indian newspapers amid high interest in her arrival.”Pak Puts On Its Best Face,” noted The Times of India, the biggest-selling English-language daily, while mass circulation Hindi newspaper Navbharat Times said India was “sweating over model-like minister.”

“Pak bomb lands in India,” joked the Mumbai Mirror tabloid in a tongue-in-cheek reference to the history of wars between the countries and attacks by Pakistani militant groups on Indian soil. In a rarity for the Indian media, not known for assessing the dress-sense of previous Pakistani visitors, the Mail Today tabloid devoted extensive space to her choice of outfit as she flew in to New Delhi airport on Tuesday. more

Pakistan’s glamorous new WMD

In Foreign Policy: She’s young, stylish, sharp and pretty, and Indians are falling for her. Yep, it seems that Pakistan’s new 34-year-old foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, has accomplished what years of tense diplomacy haven’t been able to — create some genuine goodwill between the two constantly sparring nations.

Hina Rabbani Khar, 34, Pakistan’s first female foreign minister

Days ahead of crucial peace talks with India, Pakistan has appointed its first female foreign minister. A Foreign Office statement says Hina Rabbani Khar is also the youngest foreign minister in Pakistan’s history. It did not state her age.

Khar, born 1977, comes from a Punjabi political family and is a member of the National Assembly from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. She has a postgraduate degree in hospitality management from the University of Massachusetts and owns a popular restaurant in the grounds of the Lahore Polo Club.

Khar entered politics in 2002 and previously served as deputy foreign minister. The top post had been vacant since February when the previous foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, fell out out with the ruling party.

At 79, India’s foreign minister SM Krishna is more than double her age.

Her profile at Pakistani Leaders Online