Sunday, October 23, 2011


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 BSc in Economics from Lahore University of Management Sciences in 1999 and received her MSc in Hospitality Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2001

She has her roots in Village ‘Khar Gharbi’ located in Tehsil Kot Addu, and politically affiliated now with PPPP. She got elected as Member of National Assembly (MNA) in 2008 elections from NA-177, Muzaffargarh-II for the second time. Earlier, she won the elections in 2002 from the platform of PML-Q and was the Parliamentary Secretary for Economic Affairs and Statistics.

Hina Rabbani Khar has got people talking about her impeccable style sense during her ongoing Delhi visit. The 34-year-old is quite a style icon back in her own country, reveal Pakistan’s noted fashion designers.

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. She prefers healthy diet and yoga.

“She dresses conservatively, conscious of the fact that she represents a Muslim state. Her brief to the designer is not to make body-hugging dresses. But she’s extremely stylish,” says Lahore-based Honey Waqar, who has designed for Khar. “Politicians here are usually not aware about brands, but she knows a lot and loves accessorising with stylish bags,” says Islamabad-based designer Sobia Nazir. “In private gatherings, you’d spot her in trendy jeans,” adds Karachi-based designer Faiza Samee.

Delhi’s fashion circuit and even Twitter was abuzz with style talk about her on Tuesday. “I love the understated pearls. The bag gives a formal and crisp flavour,” says designer Nida Mahmood. “Hina Rabbani Khar is the newest stylista in India,” tweeted  Himanshu Parmekar. Meanwhile, all the talk about her fashion sense made some wonder if the focus is being taken away from what she’s in India for. “If Hina Rabbani were a male foreign minister of Pakistan, would she EVER be deconstructed in terms of look and dress?” tweeted Barkha Dutt, Group Editor, NDTV. “Not too many cute male ministers around, yes?” wrote back Twitter user Nishant.

     When Pakistan appointed Hina Rabbani Khar, a 33-year-old politician, as its first female foreign minister earlier this year, there was some suggestion that she lacked experience for the job.

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, with Pakistan Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, right, in Islamabad on Friday.
On Friday, sharing a podium with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she certainly appeared out of her depth.

Ms. Khar’s rise in politics has been fast since completing a degree in hospitality management at the University of Massachusetts and returning to Pakistan, where she opened a restaurant in the grounds of the Lahore polo club.

She’s from a powerful Punjabi political family and entered politics in 2002 with the political party of former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, switching at the last election to the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.

She is a proud Pakistani and regards this very feeling as her most treasured asset. She really feels proud of whatever God has given her: her family, her village, her background, and everything. She feels that Pakistan has a great deal to offer. She loves trekking. She recollected her visit to Nanga Parbat and K2 (with the ‘LUMS Adventure Society’) with joyfulness; nostalgia gripped her and she appreciated the diversity of the landscape and the hospitality of people as enough to warm one’s heart towards this country. In Pakistan, people and places make you feel welcome. Freedom of expression is also a thing, unique to Pakistan. She said that even in the remotest areas, one can sit at a railway station to have tea with the porters and have a real conversation with them. Then, during the elections process, when she visited her constituents, she found them to be hospitable in spite of their limited means. A guy earning Rs.3000 a month will lay out a feast for his guests. It all speaks to the generous and warm nature of our culture, which is definitely something we should be proud of!

She is articulate, brilliant, enterprising, and very far-sighted even at such a young age. Moreover, she is humble, approachable, professional, and knows her job very well. At the end of the day, if we have more people like her in our government, perhaps Pakistan’s positive image won’t need any marketing beyond simply introducing them to the world!

She considers herself extremely lucky. She is happy for the way her mind is constantly challenged in terms of working hours, the changes she can make, and the room for innovation is just tremendous. She has been able to make some changes that aren’t very popular, but in the long term they are great for Pakistan, e.g. in the telecommunications and banking sectors. However she feels that on the flip side, there are no guarantees in the political field, so she did not comment on how much control she has over making it a lifelong career. She regards working with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and President Musharraf as one of the biggest factors in her sense of pride for Pakistan.

Hina Rabbani Khar has travelled to USA, UK, Germany, Netherlands, U.A.E, Saudi Arabia and Singapore. She is single and enjoys riding, reading and travelling. She is also a member of the Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF) Pakistan.

She is the first woman to present the budget speech in national assembly on 13 June, 2009.

10 things you didn’t know about her
1         Hina Rabbani Khar is the niece of one of Pakistan Peoples’ Party founders, Ghulam Mustafa Khar. He made headlines when Tehmina Durrani, one of his seven wives, wrote the famous book on him, My Feudal Lord, in 1991

2 A polo enthusiast, she has a stable of horses.
3 She also owns a restaurant in Lahore called Polo Lounge
4 She has more than 20  Facebook fan clubs
5 A trekking enthusiast, she’s been to K2 and Nanga Parbat
6 Her Wikipedia page labels her a ‘Pakistani fashionista’
7 She mostly carries a Hermes Birkin bag on official visits
8 She became the first woman to present Pakistan’s budget in 2009
9 She eats healthy, and preferred green tea over other beverages during her stay in Delhi’s ITC Maurya Hotel
10 She is mother to two sons and a daughter.

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