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Hina Rabbani Khar

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Hina Rabbani Khar
حناربانی کھر
Hina Rabbani Khar, Foreign Minister, Pakistan (cropped).jpg
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
11 February 2011 – 16 March 2013
Acting: 11 February 2011 – 19 July 2011
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani
Raja Pervez Ashraf
Preceded by Shah Mehmood Qureshi
Succeeded by Mir Hazar Khan Khoso (Acting)
Sartaj Aziz (de facto)
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
11 February 2011 – 20 July 2011
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani
Preceded by Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan
Succeeded by Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan
Minister of State for Finance and Economics Affairs
In office
24 March 2008 – 11 February 2011
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani
Preceded by Ali Nazary
Succeeded by Dost Muhammad Mazari
Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan
In office
10 October 2002 – 11 May 2013
Constituency NA-177 Muzaffargarh-II
Personal details
Born (1977-11-19) 19 November 1977 (age 38)
Multan, Punjab, Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Political party Pakistan Peoples Party
Spouse(s) Feroze Gulzar
Relations Ghulam Noor Rabbani (father)
Ghulam Mustafa Khar (uncle)
Aaminah Haq (cousin)
Alma mater Lahore University of Management Sciences [1]
University of Massachusetts, Amherst[2]
Religion Islam

Hina Rabbani Khar (Urdu: حنا ربانی کھر; born 19 November 1977)[3] is a Pakistani stateswoman who served as the 26th Foreign Minister of Pakistan between February 2011 till March 2013. She remains the youngest person and the first woman to have held the position.[4]

Hailing from an influential feudal family in Multan, she studied business at LUMS and Amherst before entering politics as a member of thenational assembly in 2002, representing the Pakistan Peoples Party and becoming a junior minister responsible for economic policy under the Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. In 2009, she became the Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs and the same year became the first woman to present the national budget.[5] She was appointed by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani as the Foreign Minister of Pakistan in July 2011 following the resignation of Mehmood Qureshi, and served until the 2013 election, when she retired from active politics.[5]

She remains a member of Pakistan People's Party, and is a public speaker on foreign policy. She has continued to push for stronger ties with India.[6][7]

Early life and family[edit]

Hina Rabbani Khar was born into a feudal Muslim Jat family of Khar clan in Multan, Punjab, Pakistan.[8][9] Khar is the daughter of powerful oligarch and retired politician Ghulam Noor Rabbani Khar.[10] Her father was a prominent national politician and formerly served as a member of the National Assembly.[10] She is niece of Ghulam Mustafa Khar, former Governor and Chief Minister of Punjab.[11]


Khar is a graduate of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) where she holds a BSc (with honors) in Economics conferred in 1999.[3] She subsequently attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the United States where she earned a MSc in Business Management in 2002.[3]

Khar has retained ties with LUMS since her graduation. In 2012, she delivered a lecture there on "Foreign Policy and Young Democracy", and secured funding for the Abdus Salam Institute of Physics.[12][13]

Political career[edit]

In the 2002 general elections, Khar was elected as a member of the National Assembly, representing the NA-177 (Muzaffargarh-II) constituency in Punjab. Her father, veteran politician Ghulam Noor Rabbani Khar, had represented the constituency previously, but he and most of the members of her family had been disqualified.[14] A new law requiring all parliamentary candidates to hold a university degree meant that he and they could not run that year.[15][16][17] With the financial support of her father, she campaigned on a newly founded PML-Q platform against the Pakistan Muslim League.[14] According to The Guardian, "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."[18]

Hina Rabbani Khar – World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, 2012

Economic and Finance positions[edit]

Khar came to prominence during the Shaukat Aziz government and was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Economic Affairs and Statistics from 2003, later being Minister of State for Economic Affairs in 2004, a post she retained until 2007.[19][20] As minister of state, she dealt extensively with the donor community during the 2005 earthquake that hit Northern Pakistan, and also worked on proposals for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline.[14][21]

In 2007, she made an unsuccessful attempt to renew her alliance with the PML-Q, but the party denied her a ticket platform to campaign for re-election in 2008. She was later invited to join the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) by senior members and successfully campaigned for her constituency for a second time.[15] The PPP secured a plurality of the votes and formed a left-wing alliance with the Awami National Party, MQM and PML-Q.[22]

Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs[edit]

After successfully defending her constituency in 2008 with the PPP, she was appointed Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs in the cabinet of Yousaf Raza Gillani.[3] She worked on the financial budget and economic policies in the absence of the then Finance Minister and on 13 June 2009 she successfully presented the 2010 federal budget in the Parliament and has the distinction of being the first woman politician to present the Pakistani budget in the National Assembly.[14]

Foreign minister[edit]

Khar was appointed as 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.[23] After Shah Mehmood Qureshi's resignation as Foreign Minister, she became acting Minister of Foreign Affairs on 13 February 2011.[24] She was formally appointed as Foreign Minister on 18 July[25] and was sworn in on 19 July, becoming the youngest and first female Minister of Foreign Affairs.[26] President Asif Ali Zardari, who succeeded Pervez Musharraf in 2008, said the appointment was "a demonstration of the government's commitment to bring women into the mainstream of national life".[27] She was appointed foreign minister during a difficult time in Pakistan: when the country's armed forces were confronting extreme elements in Western Pakistan and anti-American emotions ran high over the Raymond Davis incident.[28][29]

Shortly after her appointment, she visited India and held peace talks with her Indian counterpart, S. M. Krishna. Relations between the two countries had been suspended following the 2008 Mumbai attacks, resuming in February 2011.[30] 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.[31][32][33] She held talks with leaders of the Hurriyat Conference before meeting Indian government representatives, a decision which was criticised by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India's main opposition party,[34][35] which said it was a breach of protocol and demanded an inquiry into the matter.[36] She later led an unsuccessful move to grant India most favoured nation status.[37] In August 2011 she visited China and held talks with Yang Jiechi, the Chinese Foreign Minister.[38] Hindustan Times reported that, in contrast to her reception in India, she was largely ignored by Chinese media.[39]

The NATO strike which killed 24 Pakistani troops was one of the most notable incidents during her tenure and Foreign Minister Khar vigorously stated that the government of Pakistan and defense committees 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 Pakistan's supply routes.[40] On 6 June 2012, Pakistan renewed its call for a U.S. apology over the killing of 24 soldiers in U.S. warplane attacks at the Salala checkpost, as Khar argued that "higher principles should take precedence over politically popular considerations". Khar challenged the U.S. to "live up to its democratic ideals by respecting the will of Pakistan’s elected legislature", Foreign Policy magazine said in a Doha-datelined report on its interview with the top Pakistani diplomat.[41] On 15 December 2011, when the United States suspended financial aid to Pakistan, Khar warned her counterpart Hillary Clinton that the United States will be responsible for defeat in the war on terror as Pakistan could not fight the war alone.[42]

Hina Rabbani Khar – Supreme Court of Pakistan Conference in 2013.

On 21 January 2012, Khar secretly left for Moscow with an agenda of strengthening bilateral relations.[43] Khar and her foreign service officers made tremendous efforts to reach out to countries such as Russia in the wake of strained ties with the United States.[43] On this trip she extended an invitation to the Russian leadership to visit Pakistan and to reaffirm cooperation and bilateral commitment and support to promote stability and peace in Afghanistan for "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned" efforts for national reconciliation in the country.[44] On 12 August 2012, while speaking at the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, Khar maintained that "growing confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program was threatening further instability in the broader region, and a peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible on the basis of reciprocal confidence-building measures and security assurances against external threat."[45]

During her short visit to Bangladesh on 9 November 2012, Khar was approached by the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dipu Moni to settle pending post-independence issues.[46] Khar called for the two countries to move ahead together.[46]

In April 2013, Khar announced that she was standing down at the next general election, so that her father, who had previously been ineligible to stand as a candidate, could succeed her. The condition requiring parliamentary candidates to hold a university degree, which had led to Khar replacing her father in 2002, had been lifted since the most recent general election.[47][48] The PPP came second in the election, losing 74 seats;[49] Khar's father was defeated in his bid to regain his former seat.[50]


Khar at the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue Review in London.

During her two-year-long appointment as the country's foreign minister she attracted significant global attention on her status as Pakistan's first women foreign minister.[11][51] She was interviewed by Charlie Rose,[52] CBS News[53] and Washington Post[54] among others.[55] She served as a high-ranking member of the Central Executive Committee of the Pakistan Peoples Party from 2008 until 2013, when she retired from politics.[5]

Post-ministerial career[edit]

Since standing down, Khar has been an active public speaker. In an interview with Al Jazeera in December 2015, she accused the US government supporting military regimes in Pakistan.[56] She has written op-ed's for Newsweek Pakistan[57] and was interviewed by Mehdi Hasan at the Oxford Union in December 2015.[58] In June 2016, she appeared on Jirga with Saleem Safi, speaking out against Pakistan's aggressive stance in the Kashmir conflict.[7] In an appearance at the Islamabad Literature Festival, she continued her support of a closer Indian-Pakistan relationship.[59]

Personal life[edit]

Khar is married to Feroze Gulzar and has two daughters, Annaya and Dina.[3] Khar is co-owner of a restaurant called named the "Polo Lounge". The initial branch opened at the Lahore Polo Ground in 2002. A second Polo Lounge has since opened in Islamabad's Saidpur Village.[11][60]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to Speak at LUMS". LUMS. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Alumna to be Pakistan's new Foreign Minister". University of Massachusetts Amherst. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Hina Rabbari Khar". Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  4. ^ (2012-06-25). "Hina Rabbani Khar". Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  5. ^ a b "Hina Rabbani Khar not to run for another stint in National Assembly - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  6. ^ "Reaffirming loyalties: Hina Rabbani Khar is not joining PTI, says Ghulam Rabbani - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  7. ^ a b "'Pakistan's national identity is to hate others': Hina Rabbani Khar, please tell us something new - Firstpost". 2016-06-28. Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  8. ^ "Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar". First Post (India). Retrieved 29 April 2013. Hina Rabbani Khar was born on 19 November 1977 in Multan, Punjab 
  9. ^ "Electoral results by caste". Daily Times. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "Gone with the wind". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  11. ^ a b c Das, Mala (27 September 2012). "Who is Hina Rabbani Khar?". NDV. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  12. ^ LUMS. "Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar Speaks at LUMS". Press Release of LUMS Editorial Newspaper. LUMS Editorial Newspaper. Archived from the original on 3 May 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  13. ^ Khar, Her Excellency, Hina. "Foreign Policy and Young Democracy" (PDF). Hina Rabbani Khar presented her paper at LUMS on 30 April 2012. LUMS, Paper. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c d M Ilyas Khan (21 July 2011). "Will Pakistan's first woman foreign minister make a difference?". BBC News. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  15. ^ a b "District Profile: Southern Punjab- Muzaffargarh". Dawn. Karachi. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  16. ^ "Pakistani general election, 2002: constituency-wise detailed results" (PDF). Election Commission of Pakistan. p. 48. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  17. ^ Khan, Omer Farooq (25 July 2011). "Hina Rabbani Khar a misfit, say most Pakistanis". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  18. ^ Walsh, Declan (29 July 2011). "Pakistan foreign minister bags attention on India trip". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  19. ^ "CV" (PDF). Competitiveness Support Fund. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  20. ^ "Government to appoint Hina Rabbani Khar as Foreign Minister". The Express Tribune. Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz who first appointed her as parliamentary secretary for economic affairs and statistics. She was then made minister of state. 
  21. ^ "KUNA :: India hosts regional Econ. Coop. Conference on Afghanistan 06/11/2006". Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  22. ^ Ghumman, Khawar (5 October 2012). "The hunt for electoral alliances". Dawn. Karachi. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  23. ^ Hassan, Ahmad (12 February 2011). "Some heavyweights left out of 22-member new cabinet.". Dawn. Karachi. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  24. ^ Indo-Asian News Service, ed. (24 June 2011). "Hina Rabbani Khar to be Pakistan foreign minister". MSN India News. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  25. ^ Buncombe, Andrew (19 July 2011). "Pakistan selects female envoy for India talks". The Independent. London. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  26. ^ "Hina Rabbani Khar sworn in as foreign minister". Dawn. Karachi. 19 July 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  27. ^ Ghosh, Labonita (26 July 2011). "Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan's foreign minister: Just a Greenhorn or Rising star?". The Economic Times. Mumbai. p. 2. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  28. ^ Chaudhry, Asif (28 January 2011). "US official guns down two motorcyclists in Lahore". Dawn. Karachi. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  29. ^ Khan, Omer Farooq (18 July 2011). "Hina Rabbani Khar is Pakistan's new foreign to minister". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  30. ^ "India and Pakistan relations 'on right track". BBC News. 27 July 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  31. ^ Rodriguez, Alex (5 August 2011). "Pakistan's top envoy gets points for style, but at home questions loom". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  32. ^ "Hina Rabbani Khar: An instant hit with Indian media and masses alike". The Economic Times. Mumbai. 27 July 2011. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  33. ^ "High on fashion: Birkin, pearls a few of Pakistan foreign minister's favourite things". The Times of India. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  34. ^ "Pak foreign minister starts India visit by meeting Kashmiri separatists". The Times of India. 27 July 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  35. ^ "BJP protests Khar-Hurriyat meet, slow pace of 26/11 trial". Hindustan Times. New Delhi. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  36. ^ "BJP demands inquiry into Khar-Kashmiri separatists meeting". Daily News and Analysis. Mumbai. 27 July 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  37. ^ Lamont, James; Bokhari, Farhan (2011-10-17). "Pakistan and India in historic trade push". Financial Times. ISSN 0307-1766. Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  38. ^ "Pakistan, China ties are unique: Hina Rabbani Khar". The Times of India. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2012. [dead link]
  39. ^ "Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to visit China". The Express Tribune. 22 August 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  40. ^ Starr, Barbara (2 December 2011). "U.S. talked with Pakistan before fatal airstrike, yet questions remain.". CNN International. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  41. ^ "Khar renews call for apology over Salala attack". The News International. Karachi. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  42. ^ Staff Reporter (15 December 2011). "US will be responsible for defeat in war on terror: Hina Khar". The Nation. Lahore. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  43. ^ a b Kamran, Yousaf (21 January 2012). "Khar off to Russia with love". The Express Tribune. Karachi. p. 1. Retrieved 9 September 2012. In a development that signifies a paradigm shift in the country’s decades-old foreign policy, Pakistan is set to formally invite the Russian president to undertake a visit at a time when its relationship with the United States is faltering 
  44. ^ APP (9 February 2012). "Working together: Pakistan, Russia vow to support Afghan peace initiative". The Express Tribune. Karachi. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  45. ^ APP (29 August 2012). "NAM summit: Khar fears Iran conflict may fuel instability". The Express Tribune. Karachi. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  46. ^ a b Karim, Rezaul (10 November 2012). "PM to visit Pakistan to attend D-8 summit". The Daily Star. Dhaka. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  47. ^ Iqbal, Nasir (2008-04-22). "Supreme Court scraps graduation condition". Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  48. ^ "Nomination withdrawn: Hina Rabbani Khar steps down in favour of her father - The Express Tribune". 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  49. ^ "National Assembly of Pakistan". Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  50. ^ "Pakistan's waning feudalism: Gone with the wind". 18 May 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  51. ^ "Indo-Pak talks: Hina Rabbani to lead delegation to India - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  52. ^ Charlie Rose (2013-01-15), Hina Rabbani Khar (01/14/13) | Charlie Rose, retrieved 2016-02-22 
  53. ^ CBS News (2011-09-23), The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley - Is Pakistan aiding terror attacks on the U.S.?, retrieved 2016-02-22 
  54. ^ "Pakistan foreign minister on U.S. relations". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  55. ^ NDTV (2012-09-08), No love lost for Hafiz Saeed: Hina Rabbani Khar to NDTV, retrieved 2016-02-22 
  56. ^ "US has immense fascination for military regimes in Pakistan: Hina Rabbani Khar - The Economic Times". Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  57. ^ "If Not Now". Newsweek Pakistan. Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  58. ^ "Who rules Pakistan?". Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  59. ^ "Bhangra, books and bonhomie". 2016-04-20. Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  60. ^ Khan, Omer Farooq (21 February 2013). "Hina Rabbani Khar's 'baby': Tony eatery with an eclectic menu". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ali Nazary
Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs
Succeeded by
Dost Muhammad Mazari
Preceded by
Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan
Preceded by
Shah Mehmood Qureshi
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Mir Hazar Khan Khoso