Wednesday, July 27, 2011

India gushes over Hina

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has won instant fans in India, with her photo adorning the front pages of most Indian newspapers amid high interest in her arrival. Looks like, the whole India gushes over her and she might get a call from Bollywood soon.

"Pak Puts On Its Best Face," noted The Times of India, the biggest-selling English-language daily, while mass circulation Hindi newspaper Navbharat Times said India was "sweating over model-like minister."

"Pak bomb lands in India," joked the Mumbai Mirror tabloid in a tongue-in-cheek reference to the history of wars between the countries and attacks by Pakistani militant groups on Indian soil.

The Mail Today tabloid devoted extensive space to her choice of outfit as she flew in to New Delhi airport. 

"The 34-year-old minister scored full marks on the fashion front when she was spotted at the Delhi airport in a monotone outfit of blue — the colour of the season," it said.

"Tasteful accessories — Roberto Cavalli sunglasses, oversized Hermes Birkin bag and classic pearl jewellery — added a hint of glamour to her look," it added.

The Telegraph newspaper meanwhile compared fresh-faced Khar, a married mother of two who caused a stir at home after being photographed in tight jeans, with her elderly counterpart S.M. Krishna.

"In the unkind world of adjectives, the odds are stacked against SMK and in favour of HRK," it said, using the ministers’ initials. "Khar carries with ease descriptions such as ‘stunning’ and ‘petite’." Krishna, a 79-year-old who takes great pride in his tailored suits, might face a tough job attracting attention later Wednesday when the two pose for photographs at the start of their talks.

"All eyes on glamorous Pak minister," said the Rediff website. "She is clearly being looked at as a perfect combination of beauty and brains." The Indian Twittersphere was also ablaze with commentary on the Pakistani envoy, who has taken over from Shah Mehmood Qureshi who drew criticism in the Indian media over his strong language last time he met Krishna.

Journalist and author Seema Goswami saw a link between the monsoonal downpour that struck the Indian capital and the generally fawning coverage of Khar.

"Even the Delhi skies are drooling," she wrote.

The Foreign Ministers of the nuclear-armed neighbours are holding their first talks in a year, looking to breathe fresh life into a peace process still stifled by the trauma of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Observers expect little to emerge from the meeting beyond some modest confidence-building measures connected to relatively uncontentious issues such as cross-border trade and people-to-people contacts.

However, the direction in which Hina Rabbani Khar's popularity graph is heading, she might be contacted for a lead role in a Bollywood movie.

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