Khar becomes first female foreign minister of Pakistan

Published: July 20, 2011

Will head a delegation for minister-level talks to India next week. PHOTO: INP

ISLAMABAD: 

Hina Rabbani Khar took oath on Tuesday as the foreign minister, becoming the first Pakistani woman to be appointed to the position.

At a ceremony held at the President House, acting president Farooq H Naek administered the oath to Khar as the 26th Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan.

Khar, 34, will now head the Pakistani delegation to India for the ministerial-level talks scheduled to begin in New Delhi on July 26.

Khar’s first assignment will be the 18th session of the Association for South East Asian Nations (Asean) regional forum to be held in Indonesia later this week. At the sidelines of the conference, Khar is expected to hold bilateral meetings with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, Khar met Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal at the Foreign Office on Tuesday. Sabharwal told Khar that Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna is looking forward to her visit to India.

Khar said that the dialogue process should be uninterrupted and uninterruptable. “Ensuring cooperative relations with countries of the region is at the forefront of Pakistan’s foreign policy,” she told the Indian envoy.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (55)

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Jul 19, 2011 - 6:13PM

    OMG!

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  • Abdullah
    Jul 19, 2011 - 6:32PM

    she looks confused

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  • Chacha
    Jul 19, 2011 - 6:39PM

    Zardari and Gilani have got themselves a compliant foreign minister whom they can bully. One of the reasons Qureshi was fired is that the US – Pak relationship was under strain because of him. That is why Hina was bought in. Now Zardari runs the US – Pak relationship directly.

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  • Bangash
    Jul 19, 2011 - 6:52PM

    She should save Pakistani taxpayers some money and move into a small office in GHQ. No need for a staff either as she only needs to sign documents and repeat talking points in Press conferences.

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  • Salma
    Jul 19, 2011 - 6:53PM

    nice…congrats and best wishes

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  • Mehboob
    Jul 19, 2011 - 7:43PM

    God Bless you Hina Rabbani. Youth have the power and energy to change the world, I am sure you seek wisdom of elders. So I don’t see it a big problem that young woman who is intelligent and energetic can’t handle the Big issues. I pray for your success and hope for a better change. May you take the rightful decisions!

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  • hanbali Ahmed
    Jul 19, 2011 - 8:03PM

    being a muslim she should not be allowed to travel to other countries without male family memberRecommend

  • Omair Shakil
    Jul 19, 2011 - 8:13PM

    Why does it matter who’s the Foreign Minister of Pakistan? As long as our President and Prime Minister stay in office we cant expect our foreign policy to have any direction or to keep Pakistan’s core strategic interests on top.

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  • Ba Ha
    Jul 19, 2011 - 8:17PM

    Brings rich experience and insight to the job i suppose?

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  • Raj
    Jul 19, 2011 - 8:54PM

    Is she related to Ghulam Mustapha Khar, former CM of Pakistani Punjab

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  • sudhir
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:06PM

    @hanbali Ahmed:
    good one!!!!

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  • tanya
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:10PM

    @hanbali Ahmed
    dude what are you talking about?! seriously, is that the real problem?

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  • wah wah
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:19PM

    well it could have been worse… i mean what if the powers that be decided to appoint Firdous Ashiq Awan as the FM?? Now that would have been a sight….

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  • Rao Amjad Ali
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:45PM

    Congratulations! Her new assignment must give a lot of hope to the women of Pakistan.

    If she hasn’t already, it would serve her well to read Pamela Constable’s recently published “Playing With Fire”.

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  • Kittu
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:47PM

    Countries and people are fighting for no reason. For a change every country should try a women as FM. May be they can bring some peace. Good Luck Madam.

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  • Basit
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:52PM

    What a joke with the masses of Pakistan. In this critical time of life and death she will represent us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We dont need miss nice. This country is going down as long as we have Zardari.

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  • Faraz
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:53PM

    @Raj:

    Yeah she is.

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  • Jehanaz Niazi
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:58PM

    Proud of the women of my country. We can and will fight for our rights in our own country. God bless Hinna Rabbani in her new role. May she make a positive contribute and create a way for more Pakistani women to enter politics inshallah!

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  • Mirza
    Jul 19, 2011 - 10:08PM

    She is US educated and easy on the eyes. Pakistani foreign ministry is run by the ISI anyway, so this appointment is not going to make any difference. Being a young educated woman projects a good image of Pakistan which is seen as the haven for terrorists and where women are not treated fairly.
    Make no mistake about it; Hina can extract more concessions from the Americans than the previous ministers could. The US itself, trains young, pleasant, fluent women for negotiation with Japanese, Chinese and Arabs, knowing fully well that these Asians are not going to say no to women half their age. I know this as a fact, that even with North Korea the US negotiators are like that, and they can drive a better bargain in most cases.
    In fact Mush was using this same technique by using such people for his “enlightened moderation”, even though he was playing double game. Best of luck Hina, you have nothing to lose! I only hope that she emphasizes on the civilian aid and improve the plight of civilians.

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  • Faraz
    Jul 19, 2011 - 10:13PM

    That’s like making Shahi Syed Ambassador to Italy or like Altaf Hussain representing Pakistan in the UN (perhaps he will do a phone address there as well).

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  • Jul 19, 2011 - 11:01PM

    Vienna,19-07-2011
    I welcome the development.With this there should be momentum towards
    normalizing relations with India. May be Pakistan can accept Indian
    economic aid direct. Law enforcement agencies and the armed forces
    of course should do their job well so the citizens feel safe and secure.
    I wish Pakistan healthy recovery.What we say in German baldige besserung.
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  • Greetings
    Jul 19, 2011 - 11:23PM

    Hina Rabbani is the great example about how educated Pakistani younger generation can take charge.The youth of Pakistan is way smarter than one gives them credit as they too like their Founders have been experiencing huge challenges and this has given wisdom and matured them tremendously at a very fast pace. Also this is a great example of women leadership and empowerment. Congragulations! Mubarak aur kamiyab ho! Ameen.
    The critics need to sit back and relax.

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  • Mohan Ram
    Jul 20, 2011 - 12:08AM

    Guys, give the lady a chance to prove herself. She might do better thanher the previous FM in deplomacy.

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  • Khan
    Jul 20, 2011 - 12:08AM

    @wah wah:
    You should be punished for insulting Firdous Ashiq Awan … Don’t forget the post of First Lady of Pakistan is vacant and for that post you don’t have to speak english either.

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  • taboo!
    Jul 20, 2011 - 12:22AM

    perplexed lady!! known as “too protocol concious” in foreign office according to DAWN. I remember her giving the budget speech!!
    pathetic display…. What can she do in front of coming round of talks of FM level in India? Doesn’t take a genius to figure out…

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  • Fortune Cookie
    Jul 20, 2011 - 12:49AM

    It is really SAD to read the above comments. Give the lady a CHANCE. She may prove us all wrong.

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Jul 20, 2011 - 1:14AM

    We were in need of fresh blood and new approach towards foreign affairs. It is nice to see a young, beautiful and intelligent lady with lot of experience with previous governments to lead the nation of foreign policies. I know there will be many hue and cry from “Old War Horses” and lame ducks but Hina must move forward according to the needs and requirements of this fast moving world. We had enough from so many “Spin Doctors Of the Past”. I hope she has the blessing of all who matter most in our system.

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Jul 20, 2011 - 1:19AM

    @hanbali Ahmed: She is Pakistani National and not from Saudi Arabia. Men mostly failed to deliver. I would further suggest that even Chief Justice of Supreme must be a women. Even CM of Punjab must be a Women. What an Idea !!!!!!!!

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  • Amir
    Jul 20, 2011 - 2:40AM

    @ Raj,

    She is Niece of Ghulam Mustafa Khar……….her father can’t compete in the elections because he didn’t have BA degree so she won from her family owned seat……lol what a democracy…..

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  • The Analyst
    Jul 20, 2011 - 2:47AM

    Honestly????????

    Somebody like Najam Sethi or Hoodbhoy would be much better choices with their education, experience and outlook!

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  • A.Khan
    Jul 20, 2011 - 4:54AM

    COngratulations! I hope we will get a better representation for our country. Its not an easy job though being a leader in such a land full of pessimistics and critics. I think being young she would be able to maintain her patience in front of international community

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  • anam
    Jul 20, 2011 - 5:18AM

    I met her at Convention centre, she seemed charming, dedicated and very organized with her work. She has ‘Khar’ with her name but she is not related to Mustafa Khar.

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  • Jul 20, 2011 - 5:55AM

    @Basit: I agree bring back the Army. Quick

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  • Diesel
    Jul 20, 2011 - 6:10AM

    @Raj: His niece..

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  • Jul 20, 2011 - 8:18AM

    There is something amusing in these comments and other ones about her. Especially considering what Mirza pointed out about young women and the way middle-aged politicians go soft in front of them. It’s not rare for many comments to include her being attractive. Sometimes it’s the only thing they say. It should technically be irrelevant but it is referred to as if it is included as one of her credentials. It doesn’t change what she can, will and has done or discredit anything of actual value. But, it really is somewhat funny to see if you pay some attention to male reactions.

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  • H.A. Khan
    Jul 20, 2011 - 8:37AM

    “The oath was taken by Acting President Farooq H Naik in the absence of President Asif Ali Zardari who is on a visit to Afghanistan.”

    President Zardari was in Karachi as per press reports on the day, so how can Mr Naik administer the oath as President.?. Can someone enlighten us with the legal position?. I say the oath was not proper and defective…..

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  • Analyzer
    Jul 20, 2011 - 9:43AM

    Good to see some fresh blood taking charge. This is exactly what we need if there is to be any hope of improvement – young educated individuals who bring a new mindset to fore. I wish her best of luck! To all the naysayers – wake up and think positive, it is a foolish mindset that is always immersed in negativity and hopelessness,

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  • RizwanTKhan
    Jul 20, 2011 - 10:20AM

    One of the most useless person of Musharaf regime and sitting govt has yet been offer a significant position. Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jul 20, 2011 - 11:56AM

    @MH:
    The only reason I talked about her being young and easy on the eyes was that I have firsthand knowledge about this trick of the trade during negotiations. Without going into details I can assure you that I am not making this up. I am happy that she is the new, young and educated face of Pakistan in the world. She may not be the best candidate but she is not the worst either. As an added bonus let us use the same trick that others have been using for long.
    Thanks and regards,
    Mirza

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Jul 20, 2011 - 11:58AM

    @MH: This is the quality which we cherish most and Mirza in his comments very cleverly penned down. You have very wisely noted it. There is some conservativeness hidden in his comments on the appointment of this able lady.

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  • SR
    Jul 20, 2011 - 2:09PM

    How about brining Musharraf back in again… lessons learnt from the darling democracy. Now lets go back to the conventional and more reputed measures to tackle national problems.

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  • sameer
    Jul 20, 2011 - 2:28PM

    mr hanbali………….u hit it right on head……..hehehehhe

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  • Jul 20, 2011 - 5:14PM

    @Analyzer:
    New blood, same old policies.

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  • Wasif
    Jul 20, 2011 - 5:58PM

    Very positive step by the Government of Pakistan, Well Done, She has the capability to prove herself the right person for the right job, We wish and pray for her success.Recommend

  • Sunny
    Jul 20, 2011 - 7:55PM

    This is one big reason I appreciate PPP govt to appoint at high profile to women. No other party in Pakistan doing like that. As women are 47% to our populition!

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  • Jul 20, 2011 - 8:09PM

    Why ET changes headline later on?Recommend

  • Chaigram
    Jul 21, 2011 - 1:27AM

    Her biggest asset is her youth and not the gender. It is high time that young and educated take control in Pakistan. Congrats and may Allah give you success.

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  • sashayub
    Jul 21, 2011 - 1:53PM

    yuhooo….congratulations ….may the ‘light’ be with you…extremely proud to read this…and wish you the best Recommend

  • bulbul
    Jul 21, 2011 - 3:19PM

    I dont know why people dont get it. World politics is a bigger game than who is in power. See Obama administration for instance. How is it different from Bush regime? The US and NATO forces are still in Afghanistan and Iraq (taking a few troops out doesnt make a difference). The whole foreign policy is the same and will remain the same. Foreign policy is made by think tanks NOT by foreign ministers. Hina Rabbani Khar is not going to make a difference to the politics of this company…. and so isnt anyone else’. The country is still pretty much doomed !

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  • Ayesha
    Jul 21, 2011 - 4:53PM

    @hanbali Ahmed:
    oh please! would you want us to change our name to Saudi Arabia and also ban women from driving while we are at it?

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  • Faisel Hafeez
    Jul 23, 2011 - 4:04PM

    I hope the Younger generation can put Pakistan back on tracks. They are full of potential. I hope they can chart a course for Peace & Prosperity.

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  • Ayesha
    Jul 24, 2011 - 3:02PM

    She must make it sure that she is not going to be a puppet at the hand of others . It does not matter who she is … the real thing is that she is the ability to disturb the stagnant waters . being a female does not make a diffence coz she does not have to expose her physical power but the power of argument has to be there or the power of tacting the things with mind not by hands…

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  • diwakar
    Jul 27, 2011 - 9:39PM

    its , good to bring youth in politics with such a huge mark, especially when she is women in a country like pakistan ,where women are mainly confined within four walls, despite having lots of energy and unbeatable winning quality.
    though it is some how tough to digest that country like pak handed over her foreign policy to new comer in politics, whose not only external but internal affair also based on her foreign policy.
    is it only because she belongs to political family and having strong background…or is she really have that quality…..

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  • Jul 28, 2011 - 1:30PM

    @Kittu:
    hope so…….we have already seen dat males are nt successful in dis field…. either dey r corrupt or……..may dis lady bring some change…….best of luck….mam…..

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  • Jul 28, 2011 - 1:33PM

    may dis lady bring some healthy relations among countries………hope so…..let us see what happens???????????

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