Pakistan Foreign Office's 'Fab 4' all women team
Islamabad: For the first time, Pakistan's foreign office has an all-women team at the helm, including its first female foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar who completes a powerful quartet.
Filling a key Cabinet position days ahead of peace talks with archrival India, Pakistan appointed its youngest foreign minister on July 20, 2011.
Khar previously served as deputy foreign minister and is on her first official tour to India as part of a peace process that has struggled since the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
The top post at the ministry had been vacant since February when the previous foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, had a falling out with the ruling party.
Apart from Rabbani, the foreign office has appointed spokesperson Tehmina Janjua in place of Abdul Basit. Tehmina, who is a senior and experienced diplomat, has served as Director General Foreign Secretary Office and Strategic Planning.
The third female force in the FO is South Asia Director General Zuhara Akbari who recently led a Pakistani delegation on additional measures to facilitate travel and trade in the region including increasing travel and trade connections.
Director for Indian affairs Aysha Farooqi accompanied Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir at foreign secretary-level talks, the first formal discussions between the nuclear-armed rivals on Kashmir in two and half years ahead of the foreign ministers' talks.
Khar, 34, was an instant hit with the Indian press as soon as she landed in a powder blue dress, wearing designer sunglasses and carrying a Birkin bag in black. Birkin bags are handmade by Hermes and named after actress and singer Jane Birkin. The bag is a status symbol due to its high price. The bags are distributed to Hermes boutiques on unpredictable schedules and in limited quantities, meant to create exclusivity.
Khar was previously the Minister of State for Economic Affairs and Statistics.
She is one of a number of a rising women politicians in Pakistan: an irony in one of the most restrictive countries in the world when it comes to women's rights. The most famous is former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the first female prime minister in the Muslim world. She was assassinated in 2007.
As more women enter politics, Khar's appointment is seen as a demonstration of the government's commitment to bring women into the mainstream of national life and send positive signals about the soft image of Pakistan.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 27 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 27 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 28 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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