Following are the caps of Hina Rabbani Khar from the Live With Talat program on AAJ TV. Born 1977 in Multan, she graduated from LUMS in 1999 with a degree in Economics. She then did her MBA from UMass in 2002. By 2003 she was picked to be the MNA of the Q-League from NA-177 Muzaffargarh-II. I say “picked”, because she didn’t much go around canvassing her ancestral village Khar Gharbi, looking for votes. She got in on the 33% quota seats, where parties hand-picked their “graduate” maidens.
Next thing you know she is the Minister of State for Economic Affairs and Statistics, hobnobbing with her best pals, Prime Minister Shortcut and the Dictator-in-Chief. They made her in-charge of the begging bowl. All foreign loans and grants committed to Pakistan, went through her office to be disbursed and appropriated accordingly. A 26 year old, fresh out of college, with zero experience, was made responsible for keeping tabs on billions of dollars flowing into the country. Lovely.
Late in 2007, when things started to go south for the Q-League, they decided to drop the dead wood going into the 2008 elections. The ‘Q’ hottie brigade was the first to find itself on the chopping block. Nilofer Bakhtiar, for falling into the lap of a french septuagenerian. Then Kashmala Tariq for being catty and forming the forward block.
Hina Rabbani Khar waited till the last minute but neither got the Q ticket, nor a reason from anybody in the Q-League. The Chaudhries of Gujrat probably thought that she’d go away, if they just ignored her long enough. Like a beggar at a traffic signal. Hina was furious. She was reported in the papers as saying that she felt hurt at being ignored like that, after all the hard work she had put into her… job.
Hina threw a tantrum and threatened to hold her breath. So her daddy got her a PPP ticket for the dance, er, I mean the 2008 elections. She was ‘picked’ again and she’s back doing whatever she was doing before, something at the Ministry for Economic Affairs.
Her title is now Special Advisor to the PM for Economic Affairs. What happened to just getting pretty secretaries to go with the high office ?.
Hina is not all affairs and statistics to successive PMs. In her first term, she launched AHANG (Aik Hunar Aik Nagar). A pretty funky concept that brings together fashion designer like Rizwan Beyg and poor women in rural areas. No, it’s not to get Rizwan interested in girls. That’s never gonna happen. It’s to get the women interested in Rizwan’s work and make a living doing that.
It’s something Hina heard about happening in Thailand and she decided to import it here; like a mail order bride. I remember watching an exhibition of the rustic works in Lahore on FTV. Hina was invited as a chief guest. These sort of events are great publicity vehicles for the designers and the politicians. None of the real artisans managed to make it to the gala event. Probably couldn’t afford the cover charge.
If you think I am being too hard on Hina, I will have you know that she, even today, vigorously defends the economic policies of our former PM. The Trickle Down economics that was tried in the Reagan Era 80s and has been roundly shot down by economists and historians alike, as “Vodoo Economics”, ie; it does not work.
What it means in a nutshell, is that you give all the tax-breaks and govt subsidies to the very rich, so they get even richer and start consuming more. This way you try to increase the probability of the poor getting more scraps of food falling their way from a well-laden table of the rich. Thus, the name Trickle Down. It involves taking money from the poor (in the shape of taxes) and giving it to the very rich (subsidies). Just like Robin Hood, only in reverse.
And that’s exactly what happened in Pakistan during the tenure of our last PM. The rich got richer, the poor got poorer and the difference between the two increased manifold. Of course, we are forgetting that this state of affairs suits the obscenely rich just fine (which Hina accidently happens to find herself in).
Hina was on Live With Talat on this day, sharing the table with two experienced journalists who could smell blood. The topic was economics. Pakistan’s in particular and reason why it has taken a nose dive. Hina was asked about the shortages, the hoardings and the apparent apathy of the ruling class. She didn’t have much in the way of explanation for the past policies, or vision for a brighter future. But she has a lovely voice and it doesn’t hurt to look at her either. Talat played with her, like a fat cat juggles a scared little mouse in his paws. But he didn’t eat her. He sized her up and let her go. Like the wise bass fisherman, looking for some bigger trophy to take home.
Hina is cultured, well-mannered, well-spoken and elegant. She conducts herself like royalty. A humble and noble queen, who wishes for a place, not on the mantle but in the hearts of those she rules. She is blessed with a pretty face, a fairly functioning brain and maintains a killer body. She frequently finds herself included in the world’s top 250 this, 10 that. Mostly for her assessed leadership qualities by western bodies.
But she is not being featured here for any of those silly little titles or honors. She is here because she is a true hottie. If Kashmala Tariq is the sexual icon of the masses, Hina Rabbani Khar is the thinking man’s sexual diva. Her soft, sultry lilting voice with just a hint of a lisp, falls like rose petals on one’s ears and settle over the heart. Those clear, large, focused eyes mesmerize. Her heavy mane of dark cascading hair, manipulated into an elegant french braid could inspire reams of poetry. There is enough hope on the mere promise of a smile at the end of those lips, to jump-start a broken heart.
There are some people who are just blessed with this level of charisma. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough of them to go around. That’s why you can never have too much of Hina. I am sure glad she decided to come and spend an hour with Talat Hussain. I hope this trend continues and we see more of her in future. People grow up, mature and change their views. One hopes that she too, will come around. Meanwhile, our best wishes to her on, what’s surely going to be, a long and interesting career in politics.
Following is the accompanying video of the elegant Hina R. Khar: