ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Some of her colleagues refer to her as “the girl,” an Indian newspaper declared that she was “Pakistan’s best face,” and many men in the streets of Pakistan call her “cute” before anything else.
These titles, however, belie the monumental task ahead of Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan’s 34-year-old new foreign minister.
Pakistan is at major diplomatic odds with several key foreign partners. Although Pakistan and Afghanistan use brotherly terms to describe their engagement, they also accuse each other of supporting and staging cross-border attacks. Pakistan’s relations with the United States, of course, have been deeply soured by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions and the raid by American Navy SEALS that killed Osama bin Laden in March. And Pakistan’s relations with India, with whom it has fought three wars, are marred by mutual distrust.
Such thorny issues have left many Pakistanis asking whether Khar — the first female and youngest foreign minister in the country’s history — has the chops to get these relationships back on track