Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pakistan puts on its best face- Hina Rabbani Khar

Pakistan foreign minister bags attention on India trip- Accessories and style have media swooning, but is Hina Rabbani Khar really in charge of policy on Kashmir?
Declan Walsh in Lahore, Friday 29 July 2011 18.28 BST

Rarely has a Birkin brought so much attention. When Pakistan's new foreign minister, 34-year-old Hina Rabbani Khar, landed in India for talks this week, a media frenzy erupted around her style: the pearl necklaces, elegant costumes, Cavalli sunglasses and a stylish Hermes-made Birkin bag worth at least $9,000 (£5,500).

Khar's glamorous turn triggered a media swoon and became the buzz of the subcontinental chattering class. "Pakistan puts on its best face," read the Times of India headline; "Pakistan bomb lands in India," quipped the Mumbai Mirror.

The minister entered the lexicon of celebrity initials: "HRK" started to trend on Twitter – one letter off Bollywood's leading heart-throb SRK, or Shah Rukh Khan. Back in Pakistan, though, opinion was divided amid arguments about sexism, dynastic politics and the propriety of carrying a pricey handbag.

On a flight to Islamabad on Friday, Khar flicked through a stack of newspapers filled with her picture. "You don't want the attention to focus on the frivolous," she said. "A guy in my place would never get such attention; nobody would be talking about his suit. I refuse to be apologetic about it; I will continue to be who I am."

For all the frivolity, the trip was an auspicious start to a notoriously tricky job. Claims of a "new era" in relations seemed premature, but Khar broke the ice with her elderly Indian counterpart, SM Krishna, and negotiated several concrete measures to boost cross-border trade in the disputed territory of Kashmir.
clcik here to read more: Indo- Pak Kashmir Policy

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