ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to appoint Hina Rabbani Khar as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Express 24/7 reported on Monday.
Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani has sent advice to President Asif Ali Zardari for the appointment of Khar as Foreign Minister.
The decision was taken keeping in view the level of Khar’s comptency and recent interaction at the Foreign Office, sources at the Prime Minister House said.
Khair is expected to take charge as soon as a notification is issued in this regard. She is currently Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
Sources said the decision was taken for the upcoming talks between foreign ministers of Pakistan and India.
The talks are expected to be held by the end of July, with a final date yet to be announced.
The foreign ministers’ meeting will be preceded by preparatory talks between Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir.
Khar is one of the few women parliamentarians who have been elected on a general seat in parliament. Most women are elected on special seats reserved for women in the national assembly. The other exception is Dr Fidous Ashiq Awan, who was elected on a general seat from Sialkot. Khar is elected from Tehsil Kot Addu, a backward and underdeveloped part of Punjab. Her seat has been held by the land-owning Khar family for years. Her election was more because of her family’s clout and less because of her own popularity.
Somewhat of a novice in politics, her political career was launched as a compromise. In the 2002 elections, Khar was elected from Muzaffargarh (Kot Addu) on a ticket of the PML-Q party. She stood for elections because her father, Ghulam Noor Rabbani Khar, was ineligible to stand for elections as he did not have a university degree.
The PML-Q party was seen as the King’s party which had the full support of then President, General Musharraf. Khar, and some other politicians who formed the Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF) were seen to be close to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz who first appointed her as parliamentary secretary for economic affairs and statistics. She was then made minister of state.
A short timeline of Hina Rabbani Khar’s political career can be viewed here.