India falls in love with Pakistan's first female foreign minister

 

Delhi

The tortuous peace process between South Asia's nuclear-armed neighbours received a jolt of energy yesterday when Pakistan's first female Foreign Minister held talks with her Indian counterpart. The two parties described the meetings as constructive and cordial and said their relationship was back on "the right track". But most of the headlines were captured by newly sworn-in Hina Rabbani Khar, 34, who cut a fresh, stylish figure, with a section of the Indian media captivated by her look as much as anything else.

"This is indeed a new era of bilateral co-operation between the two countries," Ms Khar said, after talks with India's Foreign Minister, SM Krishna. Mr Krishna, who is 45 years older than his counterpart, added: "I can confidently say that relations are on the right track."

Those looking for something vastly substantive from the talks will have been disappointed; both sides said they would work more closely together to fight terrorism in the region and would make it easier for trade and travel across the UN-drawn line of control that divides the two countries in the contested region of Kashmir.

But that was not the point. Officials have stressed that in the aftermath of the 2008 attacks in Mumbai by Pakistan-based militants , which killed more than 160 people, it is essential to have such confidence-building measures.

The visit of Ms Khar, who hails from a well-established political family in Pakistan's Punjab province, certainly helped the mood music. Some said Ms Khar's visit recalled the situation in 1972, in the aftermath of the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971. On that occasion, Pakistan's president, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto travelled to India to work out the peace agreement that became known as the Simla Accord, and decided to bring his daughter, Benazir Bhutto. Kanchan Gupta, associate editor of The Pioneer, said he believed that whatever else Ms Khar might do, she would serve to soften Indian opinions of Pakistan. "She is modern, dashing, she is swish," he said.

Elsewhere, the Indian media swooned even more over Ms Khar and drew attention to her Roberto Cavalli sunglasses, an oversized Hermès Birkin bag and pearl jewellery. The Times of India carried a front-page headline that read: "Pak Puts On Its Best Face." Meanwhile, the Hindi-language Navbharat Times claimed India was "sweating over model-like minister".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test