Hina Rabbani Khar (Urdu: حنا ربانی کھر; born 19 january 1977) is a Pakistani politician and the current Foreign Minister of Pakistan. Appointed in July of 2011, she is the first female and the youngest person to ever head Pakistani’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
She was elected to the National Assembly in both 2002 and 2008 and was Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs between 2008 and 2011.
Early life and education
Hina Rabbani Khar was born on 19 November 1977 in Multan, Punjab, Pakistan in a Muslim Jat family. She is the daughter of politician and landowner Ghulam Noor Rabbani Khar and the niece of Ghulam Mustafa Khar, a former governor of Punjab. The Khar family has roots in the village of Khar Gharbi located in Kot Adu, a tehsil in Muzaffargarh District in Punjab; and has many land holdings: an estate that includes fisheries, mango orchards, and sugarcane fields. She graduated with a B.Sc. in Economics from Lahore University of Management Sciences in 1999 and received her M Sc (Hon) in Business Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2001.
She is married to Firoze Gulzar, with whom she has two daughters, Annaya and Dina . She is the co-owner of the Polo Lounge restaurant on the Lahore Polo Grounds.
In the 2002 general elections, as a candidate with the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) (PML-Q)—the party of President Pervez Musharraf—Khar was elected to the National Assembly, representing the NA-177 Muzaffargarh-II constituency in Punjab, a position her father had held previously, but a new law requiring all candidates to hold a university degree meant he could not run that year. The Guardian wrote, “In deference to local sensibilities about the place of women, her landlord father Noor addressed rallies and glad-handed voters; Hina stayed largely at home, with not even her photo appearing on the posters.” After the PML-Q denied her a ticket for re-election in 2008, she joined the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and was elected for a second time. The PPP won the majority of the votes and formed an alliance with the Pakistan Muslim League (N). They nominated and elected Yousaf Raza Gillani as Prime Minister.
Between 2004 and 2007 Khar was Minister of State for Economic Affairs (Pakistan)|Minister of State for Economic Affairs. She served as Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs in the cabinet of Gillani between 2008 and 2011. On 13 June 2009, she became the first woman to present the Pakistani budget in the National Assembly.
Khar (sitting on right) signing the Afghan-Pak Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul in June 2011. Standing behind Khar is Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani and standing behind Rassoul is Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Khar was appointed Minister of State for Foreign Affairs—the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs—on 11 February 2011, as part of Gillani’s cabinet reshuffle. After Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s resignation as Foreign Minister, she became acting Minister of Foreign Affairs on 13 February 2011. She was approved as Foreign Minister on 18 July and was sworn-in on 19 July, becoming the youngest and first female Minister of Foreign Affairs. President Asif Ali Zardari, who succeeded Musharraf in 2008, said the appointment was “a demonstration of the government’s commitment to bring women into the mainstream of national life”.
Shortly after her appointment, she visited India and held peace talks with her Indian counterpart, Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna. Relations between the two countries had been suspended following the 2008 Mumbai attacks, resuming in February 2011. The Indian media reported extensively on her fashion and appearance—the Birkin bag, the sunglasses, the Jimmy Choo stilettos and the pearl necklaces, for example. She held talks with separatist leaders of Kashmir before meeting Indian government representatives, a decision which was criticised by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the main opposition party of India, who said it was a breach of protocol and demanded an inquiry into the matter. In August 2011 she visited China and held talks with Yang Jiechi, the Chinese foreign minister. Hindustan Times reported that, in contrast to her reception in India, she was largely ignored by Chinese media.
As a result of the November 26, 2011 incident which killed 24 Pakistani troops, Foreign Minister Khar stated that Pakistan’s Cabinet and defense committee had approved a measure- similar to a parliamentary resolution put forward after bin Laden’s May 2011 death- that formally bars NATO and ISAF forces from using Pakistani supply routes.
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Hina Rabbani Khar News
Bilawal happy at GSP-Plus facilities to Pakistan
13 Dec 2013
KARACHI : Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Patron-In-Chief, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), has hailed European Parliament’s decision to extend GSP-Plus facilities to Pakistan and termed it a triumph of former President Asif Ali Zardari’s “Trade Not Aid” policy, which People’s government vigorously pursued during its tenure that ended early this year. With the fresh access to European […]
Resolving Mumbai attack case would be in Pakistan’s interest: Hina
5 Dec 2013
Islamabad, Former Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar has said it would be in Islamabad’s interest to solve the Mumbai attacks case, saying that she also disagrees with banned outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, who masterminded the attacks. Rabbani said India and Pakistan should shed their ‘old baggage’ of historical mistakes for resumption of […]
Hina Khar taking a sabbatical from politics for time being
7 Apr 2013
Islamabad, Former Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar has further distanced herself from another stint in the National Assembly. The Express Tribune quoted Khar, as saying that she had applied as a covering candidate to her father, Ghulam Rabbani Khar, for NA-177. As her father”s papers cleared the test of Article 62 and Article 63 […]
Rehman Malik Pakistan’s top electricity bill defaulter
26 Mar 2013
Islamabad, Former Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik tops the list of politicians who have yet to pay their power bills, according to the Islamabad Electric Supply Company. The company issued a list on March 24 of former federal ministers who were guilty of not paying their bills. The list included more than 21 names and […]
Hina Khar says Pakistan-India mistrust must be reduced to resolve Kashmir issue
15 Mar 2013
Islamabad, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has said that the mistrust between India and Pakistan must be reduced in order to resolve the Kashmir issue, and to carry forward the peace process. Khar asked India not to remain hostage to its domestic politics, and added that both neighbours needed to make their dialogue process […]
Pakistan FM Khar insists LoC ”incidents” cannot derail Pakistan-India peace p...
15 Mar 2013
Islamabad, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has insisted that Pakistan-India peace process is essential for normalcy in the region, adding that the LoC ”incidents” cannot derail Pakistan”s commitment with India to promote peace in the region. Khar stated this in a written reply concerning overall progress on the Kashmir issue, reports The Express Tribune. […]
Pakistan FM Khar says India not exploring oil, gas in disputed Sir Creek area
15 Mar 2013
Islamabad, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has told the senate that no oil and gas exploratory activities by India have been reported in the disputed Sir Creek marshland, which is under surveillance by Pakistan Maritime Security Agency and Pakistan Navy. The Daily Times quoted Khar, as saying that Pakistan has been making efforts to […]
Foreign Minister Khar meet German Defence Minister
7 Mar 2013
Islamabad : Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, met the German Defence Minister, Dr. Thomas de Maiziere here Thursday and discussed matters of mutual interest. The two sides exchanged views on a wide spectrum of important regional and international issues especially the prevailing situation in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Khar briefed the German Minister about Pakistan s […]
Pakistan considering transferring more Taliban leaders to Qatar to facilitate...
4 Mar 2013
Islamabad, Pakistan is considering transfer of senior Taliban cadres – including the group”s former second-in-command – to the Gulf state of Qatar as part of efforts to facilitate the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. According to The Express Tribune, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar travelled to Doha on Sunday and met senior Qatari leaders […]
FM meet with Ms. Valentina I. Matvienko, Chairperson of the Federal Council o...
28 Feb 2013
Islamabad , Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar Thursday met Ms. Valentina I. Matvienko, Chairperson of the Federal Council (Senate) of the Russian Federation and discussed matters of mutual interest. The Foreign Minister extended a warm welcome to the Chairperson on her first visit to Pakistan. The discussions on the occasion spanned the wide spectrum of […]
Distrust surrounds ‘Pak’s desire to have relations with all ethnic Afghan gro...
23 Feb 2013
Islamabad : Pakistan recently received a senior anti-Taliban Afghan Hazara leader as a state guest in a bid to win the sympathy of non-Pashtun ethnic communities, according to a report. Head of Hizb-e-Wahadat Mardam-e-Afghan Party Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq led an eight-member delegation of the Hazara community, which met Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Foreign […]
Pakistan asks Afghanistan to hand over Taliban fighter
22 Feb 2013
ISLAMABAD : Pakistan has asked Afghanistan to hand over a senior Pakistani Taliban fighter arrested recently and apparently held as a bargaining chip for a prisoner exchange. Maulvi Faqir Mohammad is a senior member of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Taliban faction, which is leading a bloody insurgency against the Pakistani government and its armed forces along the northwest […]
Pakistan urges Afghanistan to hand over Taliban chief Maulvi Faqir
22 Feb 2013
Islamabad : Pakistan has asked the Afghanistan government to hand over senior Taliban ‘commander’ Maulvi Faqir Mohammad. Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan said that they ‘hope Faqir would be handed over to Pakistan as soon as possible because he has the blood of many innocent Pakistanis on his hands.’ The capture of Maulvi Faqir, former […]
President Zardari calls drone attacks as counter productive
21 Feb 2013
Islamabad : A delegation of US Senate Foreign Relations Committee headed by its Chairman Senator Robert Menendez Thursday called on President Asif Ali Zardati at Aiwan-e-Sadr. Two rounds of talks were held, a delegation level meeting and another one in which the President was assisted by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Senator Menendez was […]