Forget the newspapers, this is what people actually think about Hina Rabbani Khar.

Image via India Today

So I did a bit of research. I asked my friends via social networking sites, what they thought about Hina Rabbani Khar‘s recent appointment as the youngest ever (and only female) foreign minister of Pakistan. The newspapers applaud her arrival as the injection of fresh blood into Pakistan‘s long-stagnant political system, rejuvenation, female empowerment, enhancing Pakistan’s fledgling soft-image. Being a little critical of this widespread appreciation, and the amount of column space given over to discussing her pearls, Chanel sunglasses and designer handbag, I decided to ask around myself. Here is what people said:

She’s pressured by the political climate, the entire political structure, not to mention the responsibility of upholding the family name. For her, her job is the first ticket to an illustrious career. She’s got more on her agenda than just revolutionizing Pak’s foreign policy, if that’s even ON the agenda. (No one knows for sure.)

 i think it wl b a gud change. she isnt the most worthy bt i thnk she wl b better than many. 🙂

What I’m worried about is her lack of experience. There are so many other senior statesmen (and maybe stateswomen too, Im not sure) that are seasoned in the art of foreign policy. Who’s to say that this young woman will be able to hold her own against counterparts such as Hilary Clinton (who is the Queen of Rhetoric & Dialogue), esp at a time when Pak is facing a lot of foreign-related issues. By putting her in this post, the govt has not only tried to show women-empowerment but has invested in her a great deal of hope and expectation by saying she has the skills to take on this position. I really hope thats true, because with all thats going on with the US and India, we’re taking a big risk. :s

u r right but u knw we need a change in thought and perception more than anythng now in foreign policy and our old statesmen dont have that. all the have is the old rotten approach. Hina on the other hand is a foreign grad and has a pretty gud CV. i thnk she is a pleasent change. and hilary is the lamest women on earth. her only power is her US nationality and if u see, where ever she goes, she faces strong criticism.

Hilary Clinton is a force in her own might and to underestimate her would not be smart. The ideas and policies she supports are not her own. She’s simply doing her job, but can Hina Khar combat her prowess? I understand that she’s fresh blood, and will most likely bring forward a fresh approach, but she’s under a great deal of pressure to conform to the existing political system. This, coupled with the fact that she has very little actual experience in foreign affairs, is a debilitating factor.

what u r sayng is right. but u knw hilary’s stances are never justified but they are never countered. be it hina or anyone. no one wil dare counter her stupidity. you knw wel her country’s control on our politics and policies. the job of our FM are never to counter US but to negotiate with them in a way to get atleast sth in our favor. and i thnk hina is a gud choice for that.

The most prominent characteristics of her personality are her lack of expertise and communication skills. She has always come across as extremely inarticulate compared to her counterparts. Thus, she neither does justice to her CV nor her post. Specially if you look at the fact that she was a Finance Minister before she became a Foreign Minister.

its a question of when in time would hina rabbani prove herself to be a true-to-her-roots ‘Khar’.

ppl thought the same about Mustafa khar’s son right before he threw acid on his young wife’s face.
but i guess we might have better luck with the Khar women, esp when she’s an LSE london graduate.

whatever her nasty family background, gotta give her a chance right? Remember that Fatima Bhutto is not another Benazir – far from it. Everyone deserves a chance, though I must say I’m apprehensive about Hina.

This is the one good decision the PPP govt has made ..”future headlines hina rabbani solves Kashmir dispute…rabbani saves gaza ..rabbani ends world hunger ..rabbani finds Waldo ….rabbani to stand for US president (why not)”

Depends on what you think are important qualities for Pakistan’s FM. Part of me thinks she’s unqualified for the position because of her hotel management academic background and lack of foreign policy experience; the other half thinks she’s a well-spoken, confident young woman, who has potential if she takes strong guidance from more knowledgeable and experienced members of Pakistan’s foreign service. She has a lot to live up to in comparison with former foreign ministers. Of course, I’m not fond of nepotism, so that’s another point not in her favor.

I don’t think she is well qualified or experienced enough. People moving to the rank of Foreign minister from the former post of State Minister is not a democratic norm. But considering that the whole institution of foreign ministry has collapsed as our previous foreign ministers, Karuri, Qureshi…were following the foreign policy coined by “external” factors. She will do the same. If there has to be a puppet, it’s better to at least have a good looking one on the stage than ugly-old-bats.

Zainab do not look at her appointment as FM from the perspective of women empowerment or young leadership, it has come by luck, she is daughter of feudal, and in political culture of Pakistan, ministerial slots and coveted posts are this ruling elite birth right, Why Hina and not some other feudal, just because she had the right connections. So nothing special in her. That’s all. Now she runs elections from constituency just next to ours, let me give you honest opinion, she is an average politician, his father runs her election campaign and I am witness of this fact that during flood Khar and her family ran away and left their people and constituency at the mercy of these water, and it was Jamshed Dasti, parliament member with fake degree, who himself participated in rescue operation and evacuated and safely transferred people to Multan from Muzzafargarh district, So she is neither good politician nor expert on foreign affairs. At least Qureshi is known as successful politician.

And then Zardari does not like independent people, and that’s why Qureshi is not FM today, Aitazaz and Amin Faheem have been cornered in party, And then if you have gone through wiki leaks Pakistani papers, Anne Peterson had written to Washington well before Gillani was nominated as PM by PPP that there are three names for Prime Minister Gillani, Qureshi, and Faheem but Zardari will go for Gillani because he thinks that Qureshi is too independent and Faheem is too lazy ( He sleeps whole day and work during Night as matter of fact), And then yes GHQ would have its consent in her appointment because strong foreign minister may not suit them, they still want to dictate decision from GHQ in important foreign policy matters, an active and talented FM will surely want Foreign office and Civilian government have more say, So puppet FM like Hina is suitable for both GHQ and Zardari but certainly not for Pakistan. I t is gamble

If minister has to completely depend on the dictation of Bureaucrats, then nothing will come out of negotiations, at the moment we both India and Pakistan need bold political initiatives and which these Bureaucrats on the both side will never support and help, they make development tedious, so if either side is interested to resolve conflict like Kashmir then politicians have to put themselves in driving seat, in present situation Congress led alliance is mired in corruption scandals and is already growing unpopular so giving concession to Pakistan at this point is out of Question, PPP led alliance in Pakistan seriously lack any ability to even propose some good solution, they are relying on Musharraf formula , I personally think it is best possible way, but to execute this plan, on both side we need some strong governments, we will have to wait, Musharraf and Manmohan at that time had opportunity to execute it but then circumstances for Musharraf changed in 2007. So no expectations from Khar visit as political environment in India is also not conducive for talks. There may be few developments on Visa and traveling policies but no big breakthrough. It is distant possibility. Hope you have had my point, input from FO officials is necessary but political acumen is required in resolving longstanding issue like Kashmir, which both Khar and Gillani government lack.

truly disappointing that the govt is behaving this way. With Hina Khar as own FM, we just have to pray that she flips the switch and tries to actually do something for the country. I doubt it though. A powerful woman in a patriarchal society is prone to feeling overconfident and proud, which seems to be more conducive to her feudal upbringing and not really to the ideals of democracy.

So there we have it. What are your views?