Government to appoint Hina Rabbani Khar as Foreign Minister

Published: July 18, 2011
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Khair is expected to take charge as soon as an approval is issued from the presidency. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Khair is expected to take charge as soon as an approval is issued from the presidency. PHOTO: EXPRESS

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.

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Reader Comments (74)

  • Anuj Mehta
    Jul 18, 2011 - 2:42PM

    wow…what a gorgeous foreign minister……young politicians really make a difference to country’s image and development…..and we , in India, have politicians who are always on death bed….

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  • Faraz
    Jul 18, 2011 - 2:42PM

    Great, now we have a child as FM as if the goverment wasn’t acting childish enough. Maybe Bilawal can become president and we can change the name of our country to Babyistan.

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  • Qasim
    Jul 18, 2011 - 2:57PM

    Another case of fuedal connections to get the choice slots. Her budget speech is ample proof of her oratory skills. No wonder we keep digging our grave deeper and deeper.

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  • Imran
    Jul 18, 2011 - 3:01PM

    She served with musharraf and now working with this government. What capacity she has except manly voice. Same ruling elite no matter who is in the government. What she achieved as finance minister that they are giving her foreign ministry.

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  • Much Amused
    Jul 18, 2011 - 3:12PM

    Now this is really amusing. Pak zindabad.

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  • Ali Turk
    Jul 18, 2011 - 3:14PM

    No offence meant: but this is a very very important ministry especially in the current state of affairs in Pakistan.

    Wisdom would have been to appoint a senior person with mature negotiating skills in Foreign affairs.

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  • Babar
    Jul 18, 2011 - 3:14PM

    To the Tribune: Please add Ms. Hina Rabbani’s complete profile (education, experience etc) without just adding the statement “The government has decided to appoint Hina Rabbani Khar as the Minister for Foreign…”.

    Please show some true journalism, this is to all pakistani news distributors: We get more precise and somehow complete news and articles from foreign media than our own Pakistani channels and on-line newspapers… why?

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  • Jahangir
    Jul 18, 2011 - 3:28PM

    We face multiple major foreign policy issues that are difficult to handle even for a senior experienced person. Couldn’t they find anyone with more experience than this person?

    How is she going to deal with the skilled politicians and foreign ministers of other countries such as Hillary Clinton, Vishwanath Singh, William Hague, and other important nations?

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  • Jul 18, 2011 - 3:33PM

    Vienna,18-07-2011
    Ms.Hina Rabbani Khar was to be appointed to the post for some time now.It
    was delayed by the back seat drivers of the trioka establishment, the military,
    which reverses the decisions of the civilian two third.Ms.Khar elevation would
    help repair and normalize political geography of Pakistan distorted since 1971
    by willful severance of East Pakistan as Bangladesh by the military.That
    military rules is established by the reversal of Inter Services Intelligence
    reporting mechanism reversal from the civil to military that led to Osama bin
    Laden episode disgrace.Hina Rabbani Khar is young and in a position to help
    Pakistan restore its health.Better late than never.Elevate her position and
    be reasonable to your own self, Prime Minister leaning on the declining
    military.
    -Kulamarva Balakrishna

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  • A.Khan
    Jul 18, 2011 - 3:40PM

    I think foreign ministry is a very good post for females. There are lot of examples around the world females are doing this job very well. They can be tough with international media if they are messing with the situation but men cannot. I appreciate this decision.

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  • Jul 18, 2011 - 3:52PM

    Her qualification is she is Pro American and promoting Pro American interest over Pro Pakistan policies. Banana Republic of Pakistan.

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  • Nasrat
    Jul 18, 2011 - 3:53PM

    Graceful and highly qualified lady.She proved herself as a impressive debater. Mind you foreign policies are made somewhere else!!!!!She only be a representative.Recommend

  • Junaid Naseer Faroqui
    Jul 18, 2011 - 3:55PM

    Rest apart…! Hina Rabbani is on an awesome career track :) How has she been doing that? somebody tell me please…

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  • Kafka
    Jul 18, 2011 - 4:04PM

    The ever green minister. She used to have her spot face in Mush’s cabinet too, and now she holds an important position in this government. No wonder though.

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  • Amman
    Jul 18, 2011 - 4:07PM

    @ aLI Turk and @ Babar..you people said it all….

    I do not knw when we will think properly….

    if Tribune prints Her all details then many of my dear readers who are sensible enough will get the clear picture.

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  • zuhaib
    Jul 18, 2011 - 4:10PM

    “…….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…..”

    Can I apply for a position of proof reader? seems like this post is vacant here in xpress tribune!!!

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  • Rohail
    Jul 18, 2011 - 4:17PM

    Awesome!

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  • hallaj
    Jul 18, 2011 - 4:19PM

    That’s why I hate democracy; you don’t need a skill set, no background knowledge, no prior experience to run a ministry. I wonder if Mr.Ahmed Mukhtar is aware of even the geography of Pakistan! So no surprise if she became the Foreign Minister.
    Why don’t we elect our chief of army and governor of the central bank?

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  • innocent
    Jul 18, 2011 - 4:27PM

    This appointment is a perfect case that reveals poor involvement of the current administration in foreign affairs. .

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  • A.Khan
    Jul 18, 2011 - 4:32PM

    Hina is a businesswoman by profession, she graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons) from Lahore University of Management Sciences in 1999, and received her M.Sc. in Management from the University of Massachusetts in 2001.

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  • FZ
    Jul 18, 2011 - 4:45PM

    According to wikipedia this is her qualification:

    ‘Khar received a B.Sc. from the Lahore University of Management Sciences in 1999 and went on to earn a M.Sc. in hospitality trade and tourism from the University of Massachusetts in 2001’

    Yes. Hospitality trade and tourism. Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jul 18, 2011 - 4:51PM

    So we are going to have a soft spoken and an innocent Foreign Minister of Pakistan.

    May Al-Mighty Allah bless us all. Aameen

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  • Riaz
    Jul 18, 2011 - 5:00PM

    OMG, blunder over bludner.

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  • Shahid
    Jul 18, 2011 - 5:00PM

    Veena Malik could have been better choice for the said job!

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  • M.Akthar
    Jul 18, 2011 - 5:06PM

    Hallaj, You are Self Proclaimed Idiot. You hate democracy as you believe “Hina” lacks the necessary skills. She was a minister during Musharraf`s Military Rule too.

    There`s something called Google in which you can search for info:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HinaRabbaniKhar

    All you need is commonsense to search & you comment on Hina about her qualifications.

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  • Idealist
    Jul 18, 2011 - 5:15PM

    Qualifications seem impressive… Let’s give her a chance before we label her as another incompetent blunder of this administration.

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  • A.Khan
    Jul 18, 2011 - 5:29PM

    Reading above comments, i guess the nation can never be united at one point. People are not more than just critics. Everyone with or without any experience speaks without any research.
    Young and educated people all over the world are encouraged to take the leadership. In companies, in organizations these dynamic and ambitious people represent in a better way. Not probably in Pakistan.

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  • S Chopra
    Jul 18, 2011 - 5:34PM

    I don’t see why not. The state Pakistan’s foreign relations are, I don’t think she can do much more harm. In Fact some young blood and Feminine charm could be a very good thing. I know its none of my business being an Indian. But I think a balanced Pakistan is in India’s interest too. Shah Mehmood Qureshi was too jumpy to be a forign minister. He would have done well in the Army may be, but foreign ministery needs a bit finesse and less in your face attitude. Good luck Pakistan.

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  • Maher
    Jul 18, 2011 - 5:35PM

    How can we expect any thing good from this govt ? Our 1 mistake has caused hit us so bad and taken all the money, respect, satisfaction, joy from our PAKISTAN. Shame on us, not on these so called POLITICIANS

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  • Lobster
    Jul 18, 2011 - 6:03PM

    Well, who else PPP can select, so she is the current best available option, probably.
    A foreign minister’s job is not much anyways, she will be a messenger between army and US.

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  • Amir
    Jul 18, 2011 - 6:11PM

    I have no problem with young politicians taking control BUTTTTT…….foreign ministry is a place for old tried and tested politicians, someone that exudes confidence and experience so their opponents won’t dare try any tricks………she might be very smart and competent but from her looks it will not deter other FMs to test her wilt and god forbid that she fails, it could have major repercussions for pakistan.

    why not appoint Maleeha Lodi…….smart educated, confident…..oh wait she is not in PPP……..thats the problem in pakistan…………in US the Defense Minister almost always comes from republican leaning and foreign affairs from democratic leaning……….why can’t pakistan do the same…….

    heck what was wrong with Shah mehmood qureshi!!!!

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  • dude
    Jul 18, 2011 - 6:11PM

    I think she is well educated, you guyz should think about the future, although she can make mistake but she will emerge as experiences FM in future. Good for pakistan.

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  • Imran
    Jul 18, 2011 - 6:41PM

    Imagine Hina Rabbani and Hillary Clinton on a negotiating table. God bless America…. And Pakistan too!

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  • Bangash
    Jul 18, 2011 - 7:03PM

    A 35 year old Foreign Minister lol !Recommend

  • Babloo
    Jul 18, 2011 - 7:10PM

    < she will have no power, except to plead for aid.Recommend

  • narayana murthy
    Jul 18, 2011 - 7:14PM

    Very wise move from Zardari. In the backdrop of the fact that Army basically conducts Pakistan’s foreign affairs, appointment of an inexperienced “yes man” is the ideal move.

    To whatever Kiyani says, she will say “yes sir”. End of story.Recommend

  • maryum
    Jul 18, 2011 - 7:15PM

    at least Govt is going to appoint foreign minister… graceful lady i like her

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  • Fahad Raza
    Jul 18, 2011 - 8:02PM

    @Shahid:
    HAHhahahaa :D

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  • Adeel759
    Jul 18, 2011 - 8:07PM

    With due respect to her, this is too important of a job to be given to such an inexperienced politician, she atleast needs 10,15 more years to be appointed to such a high profile job.This country has become epicentre of diplomatic earth quakes for last decade and an other few years to come, and in such times of test they needed someone else. This reflects how the state of affairs are run in this country.This is a sad day for those who follow international politics and diplomacyRecommend

  • FZ
    Jul 18, 2011 - 8:11PM

    Just wish she would pay her taxes first

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  • Jul 18, 2011 - 8:12PM

    In this time, we need a very strong Foreign minister, some one who understand the need of pakistan Sovereignity, Hina Rabbani Khar, has never demonstrated the skills required for that post, she has never shown the courage one need to countrer the current tide against Pakistan. I have never seen her speaking with enthuisim and conviction. I do worry for 180 Million Pakistanis, and hope if she is there, she can atleast represent us.

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  • Zai
    Jul 18, 2011 - 8:14PM

    Outrageous she is yet to pay her taxes and now becomes FM!!!!

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/12670/pakistans-elite-yet-to-pay-their-taxes/

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  • Khawja
    Jul 18, 2011 - 8:30PM

    Excellent choice, well educated and articulate with sound understanding of ground realities and international affairs. I am confident she will do a much better job then most of the past seniors including some with myopic understanding.

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  • ajmal
    Jul 18, 2011 - 8:44PM

    Zardari seems very happy with her performance. Well done young lady:).

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  • Sajjad Haider
    Jul 18, 2011 - 8:51PM

    A prudent decision, we must encourage female folk to take charge of responsible positions. This is real empowerment.

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  • Farooq
    Jul 18, 2011 - 8:53PM

    HelloRecommend

  • m
    Jul 18, 2011 - 8:59PM

    @Shahid:
    All those who say AYE. Veena would have been good. In fact, think Meera! She would blow the socks off them :)

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  • Mohammad Awais
    Jul 18, 2011 - 9:06PM

    She was state minister for finance during whole period of dictator Pervez Musharraf. She has been given a key slot in the PPP govt. Does PPP lack leaders to appoint leaders to this slot? does PPP facing leadership crisis? If PPP can accomodate Musharraf’s aides in its cabinet, why it ousted Musharraf from the office of president.

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  • Meekal Ahmed
    Jul 18, 2011 - 9:33PM

    “Competent?”

    Before this position I suppose she was a “competent” economist? And now a “competent” Foreign Minister??!!

    How low can we possibly fall??

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  • Rakib
    Jul 18, 2011 - 9:35PM

    She will endure because she is not a threat to anybody within. The lack of experience and resultant vulnerability can be converted to strength & opportunity by trying out some fresh approaches in creating personal equations worldwide. Initial problems she will face may be much less from her counterparts representing other countries and more from seasoned career diplomats or politicians of her own country who may frustrate her.There may be patronising smirks initially and she must have factored in that possibility..

    She will need a single diplomatic coup to her credit & then the chaps will eat out of her hand. It will take time. Among those that handled men of foreign affairs directly or indirectly were:Indira,Benazir,Chandrika,Madeleine,Rice among others…no dearth of examples for her to draw lessons from.

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  • Sohaib
    Jul 18, 2011 - 9:45PM

    Yeah as for now we have beautiful coming in …. she looks like a kid…. hope she is competent…..

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  • Ani
    Jul 18, 2011 - 9:54PM

    The stage is set for her to succeed. The INDO – PAK dialog is on and it is the holy grail. With a little luck she is going to be the next big thing. The PM better look over his shoulder. Look for Indian media to swoon and fall for her good looks. A major hit – results or no results.

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  • Sameer Usmani
    Jul 18, 2011 - 9:56PM

    death of foreign relations office, who would justify this act when a man like Mr. Shah Mehmood Qureshi is present in the ruling party !

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  • Aleena
    Jul 18, 2011 - 10:10PM

    Great news! Bravo!

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  • Fawwad
    Jul 18, 2011 - 10:11PM

    I m glad. She is great!

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  • Jul 18, 2011 - 10:50PM

    its good decision by government

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  • Ahmed
    Jul 18, 2011 - 11:13PM

    A great choice. She is highly educated, went to a great school in the West.

    Some are calling her young and inexperienced. A typical male chauvnists view of a woman. Most of the bloggers who are anti Khar are young males who believe that Imran Taliban is the answer for the country.

    My view being somewhat older, married to an American woman who is smarter than me and having a, daughter who is studying India and Middle East at Indiana Iniversity,is that Pakistan needs a lot of smart women like Khar in government. We need to stop the Imran Khan shout of attacking drones. If we do that our economy would collapse and we would be like Somalia. Remember Somalia, You Imran Taliban supporters. Half of the country is starving and they have no rule of law. Their only sucees is sea piracy. Do we want Pakistan to be like that under Imran. What happened to all the Muslims who talked about ghariat in Somalia. They are in refugee camps in Kenya eating food donated by Western Charities.

    You male bloggers think with your brains.Problem in Pakistan is that we do not have young and educated women like Khar in the business or politcal arenas. I welcome her. And I hope people give her time to repair the problems created in our foreign policy by the males (in Army) and in politics like Imran Taliban.Recommend

  • Peeru Shah
    Jul 18, 2011 - 11:17PM

    Wow. Now we have a foreign minister having masters degree in Hospitality trade and tourism.
    Good going Gilani, Just keep it up. Recommend

  • Asif Butt
    Jul 18, 2011 - 11:26PM

    Our Indian neighbours and specially their politicians are highly educated and professional individuals.

    Specially their politicians are highly experienced people with a “GENUINE” insight into regional issues and their global perspectives.

    We Pakistanis need really mature and highly educated people to represent us against them , otherwise any small mismatch will lead to mis-interpreted confusions ( hence the delays ) ….

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  • Jul 18, 2011 - 11:46PM

    Vienna,18-07-2011
    I think she is educated and mature enough. Fatima Bhutto is younger.
    But she may not join politics and Asif Zardari would not welcome her.
    Hina of course is capable with experience handling world bank and
    International Monetary Fund etc on Pakistan´s behalf. Pakistan should
    respect young women to come out of the mess.
    -Kulamarva Balakrishna

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  • Rao Amjad Ali
    Jul 19, 2011 - 1:07AM

    Excellent choice! She is energetic, contextually smart, educated and seems to be learning the imperatives of international diplomacy.

    I suspect that many of her detractors including distinguished commentators above are unable to stomach the fact that a FEMALE is head of ministry of foreign affairs, it’s the ugly head of male chauvinism, I suppose, that rises irrisistably among many otherwise well intentioned and “educated” men. It is Interesting that Ms. Khar is getting a lot more support from the Indian contributors.

    As for being young, all I can say is that if the older ones before her were wiser and terribly astute at making prudent and far reaching diplomatic moves then why are we in such a painful mess, especially with respect to our relations with India and intermittently with Afghanistan and the US?

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  • Infidel Humanist
    Jul 19, 2011 - 2:20AM

    @Imran:

    Imagine Hina Rabbani and Hillary Clinton on a negotiating table.

    You mean “at”. LOL!

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  • Faisal E. Khan
    Jul 19, 2011 - 2:34AM

    We have had stalwarts such as Sir Zafarullah Khan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Sahibzada Yaqoob Khan as Foreign Minister. And now we have Hina Rabbani Khar. God help Pakistan.

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  • Hamad
    Jul 19, 2011 - 5:36AM

    Please Vote IMRAN KHAN; otherwise we are responsible to this bad state of pakistan or such corrupet regime in pakistan. We have to understand we can change the Pakistan by vote to Imran Khan. or I will blame people to this all bad goverance and pathatic state of affairs that is happen because of this politician to whom we have voted in last election……. Any body want beeter Pakistan???????????? Vote please!!!!

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  • Mohan Ram
    Jul 19, 2011 - 6:20AM

    @Babar:
    To all boubters, Please read the book “SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER” May be she is more suited than all the oldies you have with all the baggage they carry.

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  • m
    Jul 19, 2011 - 8:13AM

    The right person for this job would have been Fatima Bhutto. She’s eloquent, knows foreign policy, has a relevant degree in Middle Eastern politics from Barnard College, Columbia, and a masters from SOAS in South Asian Studies (not tourism and hospitality management) has the leadership potential to do some good. But sadly, this is a country where the right people would never be hired for the right jobs.

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  • R
    Jul 19, 2011 - 9:09AM

    @Infidel Humanist:
    “ON” We insist …. LOL.

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  • Jul 19, 2011 - 9:28AM

    Vienna,19-07-2011
    Land of the pure Pakistan boys and girls, do not do not go on the
    beaten track proved disastrous Jafarullah Khan or Bhutto clan,who
    brought Pakistan very close to where Osama Bin Laden´s body resting
    in peace.Try Hina Rabbani Khar, you will not regret. You need to live
    as Muslims privately not as a mob.Individual pluralistic life is life.
    Avoid mob mentality and mob life. Preserve privacy. Otherwise
    Allah would have made a mass of flesh and blood life, a single unit.
    Samazh gaye nah?
    -Kulamarva Balakrishna

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  • Jul 19, 2011 - 10:09AM

    Any Pakistani that argues with this, even if their reason is valid, will probably only be seen as not considering women as equals considering the current circumstances. But, tourism and hospitality makes you a mere professional welcome wagon. Not a foreign minister. She can easily get herself into a situation where she finds herself lacking insight into political games being played and creating big blunders.

    I’m not saying she shouldn’t be given it or that she will do a horrible job. I’m saying the negative view of it does include sound logic, making doubts understandable. It doesn’t really effect me enough for me to care enough to pick a side on the issue.

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  • Wish
    Jul 19, 2011 - 12:06PM

    She is quite talented and would surprise her critics. Congragulations!

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  • Tony Singh
    Jul 19, 2011 - 12:15PM

    @R:
    Does Pakistan civil society has that much tolrance? If it does, you can insist on “on”.

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  • orezavi (@orezavi)
    Jul 19, 2011 - 4:12PM

    Sad to see people still think relevant degrees and academic credentials are required for leadership and smart decision making. Quintessential 19th century thinking.

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  • Chacha
    Jul 19, 2011 - 5:57PM

    After the precieved embarrasment of Qureshi, when he refused to be compliant and wag his tail to his masters, Zardari and Gilani have now got a minister who can be bullied into taking positions they want. which implies that Zardari now wants to call the shots on the relationship with the US. Unfortunately that would mean Pakistan suffers because issues of its external importance are not dealt with.

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  • Shujaat
    Jul 24, 2011 - 10:25AM

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