Hina Rabbani Khar may be sacked: ReportApril 10th, 2012 - 6:14 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, April 10 (IANS) Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan’s first woman foreign minister conspicuous by her absence from President Asif Ali Zardari’s entourage in India, may be on her way out, a media report speculated Tuesday.
The News International reported that speculation was doing the rounds in the Foreign Office that Khar may be given a new portfolio in an upcoming cabinet reshuffle and a new foreign minister would lead talks with New Delhi.
Khar, who was just 34 when she was sworn in as the foreign minister last year, was missing when when Zardari and his delegation spent a day in India Sunday.
In July last year, Khar had visited India and held talks with her Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna.
The foreign ministry was caught completely unawares when Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said in Lahore Sunday that “a fresh team” would carry forward bilateral talks to resolve outstanding issues, the paper reported.
Though the prime minister did not elaborate on what exactly he meant by “fresh team”, the News International said the statement had raised the question of whether Khar’s portfolio may be changed.
Khar had succeeded Shah Mehmood Qureshi as the foreign minister. She hails from Punjab’s Muzaffargarh district.
Sources close to her say there was no truth to rumours about a change in her portfolio. The sources as well as the Foreign Office failed to explain why Gilani used the term “new team” and why Khar was not included in Zardari’s entourage.
The daily speculated that Zardari considers Khar a lightweight politician.
“I have a hunch that if there is any truth in these speculations, then Zardari would go for Interior Minister Rehman Malik as the new foreign minister. Where such important portfolios are related it is Zardari who calls the shots,” Nusrat Javeed, an analyst, was quoted as saying.
Rehman Malik had accompanied Zardari to India, where the president met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and paid obeisance at the shrine of a Sufi saint.
Javeed said it was Rehman Malik who held talks with his Indian counterpart P. Chidambaram in New Delhi.
However, Mushahid Hussain, a senator, said: “I think the prime minister was speaking about a new team for back channel diplomacy with India. I think Khar is doing a very good job as foreign minister and there is no reason why she should be dropped for a few months.”
- 11 new ministers inducted in Pakistan (Lead) - Apr 13, 2012
- Bansal to be minister-in-waiting for Zardari - Apr 07, 2012
- Hina Rabbani Khar to be Pakistan's youngest foreign minister (Lead) - Jul 18, 2011
- Pakistan cabinet may be reshuffled, expanded - Apr 13, 2012
- Khar, Zardari's daughters likely to come to India - Apr 06, 2012
- Zardari, Gilani laud positive talks with India (Lead) - Jul 30, 2011
- New era of cooperation with India: Khar - Jul 27, 2011
- Hina Rabbani Khar to be Pakistan's foreign minister - Jul 18, 2011
- Zardari, Gilani hail positive talks with India - Jul 30, 2011
- Khar briefs Gilani about India talks - Jul 19, 2011
- Pakistan views talks with India as positive: Khar - Nov 11, 2011
- Moving beyond past, India, Pakistan ink visa pact (Fourth Lead) - Sep 08, 2012
- Gilani heading 45-member delegation for India 'cricket diplomacy' visit - Mar 30, 2011
- Table for 20 at PM's luncheon for Zardari (With Image) - Apr 08, 2012
- India ready to host Pakistan's foreign minister in July - Jun 24, 2011
Tags: asif ali zardari, bilateral talks, cabinet reshuffle, district sources, doing the rounds, fresh team, gilani, hina rabbani khar, indian counterpart, indian prime minister, indian prime minister manmohan singh, khar pakistan, manmohan singh, obeisance, prime minister manmohan, prime minister manmohan singh, qureshi, rehman malik, shrin, yousuf