Pakistanis are smarter than Indians

New Pakistani Foreign Minister: All in white to India

Pakistan sends a very young but very pretty foreign minister to Dehli for the "peace dialogue". A smart move by the Pakistani government.

Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan's new Foreign Minister. Image: Reuters

KABUL taz | She came all in white and smiled carefree like a student at the graduation ceremony: Pakistan's new Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar had her first big appearance on Wednesday - in the warring neighboring country India, of all places, where she met her colleague M. S. Krishna.

The Indian top diplomat is a clever politician. At 79 years of age, he also has significantly more experience than Khar, who at 34 years of age is a sensation on the diplomatic floor - especially in a region where age and dignity go hand in hand.

The appointment of Khar is a smart move by the Pakistani government. The new top diplomat is the first woman to head the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad. Khar's attractiveness and youth could help give the Islamic country a softer image in the world. Pakistan, which is sometimes referred to as the "most dangerous country on earth", urgently needs a change of image following the death of Al-Qaeda boss Osama bin Laden.

Khar brings precious little formally for her new job: The 34-year-old has a degree in hotel management. But Khar comes from an influential family of landowners. Her father, Ghulam Noor Rabbani Khar, owns large estates in the Punjab province. When Khar senior was unable to run for office in 2002 because, following a change in the law, he did not have the required school-leaving qualification, his daughter stepped into the breach.

In the two elections it won its old seat in the popular assembly. She quickly became deputy economics minister and a good five months ago deputy foreign minister. But when it comes to important matters in Pakistan, the military continues to set the tone. Khar won't change that much.