Don’t try to tear Hina Rabbani Khar down — Pakistan’s women MNAs have her back

Don’t try to tear Hina Rabbani Khar down — Pakistan’s women MNAs have her back

JI's Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali was reprimanded by female members for saying Khar shouldn't have led a delegation to Afghanistan.
14 Dec, 2022

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar’s visit to Afghanistan was hailed as a power move for the parallels it presented — a woman leading talks with the Taliban, known for their skewered gender politics. Though the positive reaction seemed unanimous, the recent firing at the Chaman border has brought those muttering quietly to the frontline.

On Monday, JI member Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali made a cause-effect connection between Khar’s visit and the terrorist attack, saying sending her alone for the talks left a bad impression. He couldn’t get away with it though as he was quickly silenced by female politicians in the National Assembly, who took a stand for Khar and women in general.

Addressing the speaker, Chitrali brought up the issue and shared how he think talks with the Taliban should have been conducted. “In the last few days, our consulate in Afghanistan was attacked by terrorists, our borders are getting fired at by Afghanistan on a regular basis, yesterday six people were martyred as well. The situation in the Malakand division is also in front of you.

“My suggestion is that we send a delegation from here from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headed by [JUI MNA] Maulana Asad Mahmood. Their culture should be observed, their people and government should be met with and persuaded. Ask them why are our areas getting fired at by Afghanistan, why is there disruption in peace and who are these people who want to spread hate between two brother nations?”

He made a request for a parliamentary committee to be sent to Afghanistan for this matter instead of Khar from our government which, according to him, “did not leave a good impression on Afghanistan”.

PPP’s Shazia Atta Marri had a very respectable but angry response ready to be fired. “An honourable member here passed a comment here about the minister of state for foreign affairs saying she should not have gone to Afghanistan and that her visit left a bad impression. I strictly condemn his speech and his comments.

“I don’t think this country is tolerant of talking about its women this way — neither Islam nor our society teaches us this. It’s just some narrow-minded people who want women to be trapped in the house, in a room, where not even their screams are audible. I strictly condemn not just such speech but also such narrow-mindedness,” she said.

Marri expressed pride where Khar is concerned and said this move was lauded around the world for sending a woman to “a place where women don’t get rights to let them know what the rights of women should be”.

Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman backed up Marri, saying her argument had a lot of weight. “I have a request for Chitrali sahab — if we are to respect your way of thinking then you have to respect our points of view and thinking too. This is the beauty of politics and the way of operating in a democracy.”

She gave the example of Benazir Bhutto, the first female PM of Pakistan. “If Benazir Bhutto’s son, who is currently the minister of foreign affairs and excellent at fulfilling his duties, decides to send a delegation consisting entirely of women, he is entirely right in his position. This is a message from us to the world, that PPP and the government are on the same page. This government [prioritises] human rights and women’s rights, with the policy focusing on taking the women forward,” she said.

Requesting Chitrali to carefully weigh his words, she added that, “This has ended in all of the world — being a woman or a man is not how you identify someone but it’s their performance and merit that decide. I am proud to say our women are excelling internationally and will continue to do so, that very much includes Hina Rabbani Khar.”

PML-N’s Marriyum Aurangzeb, who also serves as the minister of information, said though she respects Chitrali and he has the right to his opinion like everyone else, the expression of it should not attack anyone. “I am Hina Rabbani Khar’s colleague too and I have seen her work — the respect she has in her career is not because she’s a woman but because of her expertise and commitment. I have seen this woman work day and night. The country’s history is filled with examples of how women have played their part in this country’s progression and independence.”

She added that men should encourage women because they represent 50 per cent of Pakistan’s population. “This is not a matter of male and female, it’s about competency,” she said. “That day I got emotional when I saw Hina Rabbani sit on the same table as the Taliban, the Afghan government for the talks. I think we should we be congratulating all the women in Pakistan,” she concluded.

Chitrali once again took to the podium and claimed that he had been misunderstood. “What I meant to say was that Hina Rabbani Khar did not become the minister of state yesterday — we have never objected. What I’m trying to say is that there is tension between Pakistan and Afghanistan, there is terrorism along the border to this day. They are both brother nations, they will stay brothers till the end of time.

“To create resolution between them, sending a person there, that too, a woman — I’m still going to say — this was not suitable. What should have happened is that the minister of state for foreign affairs should have taken Islamic scholars and representatives from tribal areas in a delegation. They would have had the talks with the Afghanistan government and as a result, there would have been peace. Instead she went there — fine, but what happened? Did anything happen? Did anyone listen to her? Terrorism is still rampant. What effect did she have? The effect that resulted in the martyrdom of six of our people at the Chaman border? The effect that more of our borders are under attack? These are the effects?”

The JI member was interrupted by the female politicians at this point and a shouting match commenced while the speaker tried to maintain peace in the chamber. One of the last things Chitrali said was, “We respect women but women need to stay in their limits as well.”

Khar addressed the “heart warming” support on Wednesday and thanked her colleagues for taking a stand for her.

What we want to know is, what has caused the JI member to share such delusional thoughts? Sending a well-educated and accomplished woman to engage in talks with Afghanistan is not going to solve anything but send over a pack of men and suddenly the Taliban will drop their guns and start dancing with their “brother nation” along the borders? In his mind, do women cause terrorist attacks and men solve wars?

We’re reminded of the time when Maulana Fazlur Rehman from the JUI-F claimed that women wearing jeans was causing earthquakes as well as when Maulana Tariq Jameel said that Covid-19 was unleashed onto humanity because of the wrongdoings of women. These notions are as laughable as the idea that a woman doing her job and going for peace talks is being held responsible for terrorist attacks by a group of violent misogynists.

Chitrali sahab, you say you were misunderstood but we think you have misunderstood yourself. You support women as long as they “stay in their limits” and do not do a man’s job. We think you need to stop drawing lines around women and start erasing the lines around your thinking — broaden it a little. The world is evolving and time and time again, we have seen women can excel at any field of their choosing. You push them down and they’ll spring back up and show you.

It’s truly a shame that while Khar was celebrated around the world for her visit, in her own country, some men did not have the capacity to comprehend how powerful and inspiring of a moment it was for women everywhere. But if one good thing came of this episode, it’s this — we saw women standing up for women.


Light at the end of the tunnel Dec 14, 2022 04:49pm
She is not an average Pakistani woman in any sense of the word. Power move with a war torn country. Tasteless!
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NYS Dec 14, 2022 05:11pm
Breaking stereotypes by nominating female who would encounter Taliban leader and deescalate rift between two brother countries Pakistan and Afghanistan ,it all depends on consequences that happened post meeting Ps :Hina R can appear in veil
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Teripen Dillon Dec 14, 2022 05:11pm
Hats off, Pakistan has used a very shrewd and smart strategy with Taliban. Cleverly figured out best way to get Taliban to do as asked is to confuse them. First send a man sounding woman then a woman sounding man for talks
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Sarah Dec 14, 2022 05:17pm
Just because she is a woman , it doesn't alter the fact that she is a feudal politician belonging to a corrupt political party. Just like Benazir.
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Waqas Ahmed Raza Dec 14, 2022 05:18pm
perfect example of women card. have listen JI member's speech in NA, he just explained that the delegation which went to Afghanistan should have included the members of the region which are being targeted from across the border to make the meeting meaningful
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Sarah Dec 14, 2022 05:20pm
Whether she is a woman or not, she's not being effective at her job when ot comes to dealing with Afghanistan. Clearly they have not taken heed of Pakistan's demand to stop border attacks.
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Mahmood Dec 14, 2022 05:49pm
Just look at this picture alone and you could not count on your finger, anything of substance these four ladies have achieved, of any significance for Pakistan or made any difference at all. One is Miss Fancy-Handbags Rabbani Khar, whose legendary appetite for luxury and obscene amount on bling-bling is well known in Pakistan. Then there is Sherry Rehman, whose only function is to pull some data off Google to become expert on Global warming to appeal for aid the flood victims - as Minister for Climate Change at various summits and conferences from NY to Sharm -Al Sheikh to Berlin or Paris. But you will never find a single photo of her visiting any flood victims in Pakistan - lest she gets stinky from the stench of the poor! Ms. MNA - all talks, no action . Enough said! Oh, and Maryaam Aurengzeb , who gets all her information from her FB account as Minister of Information, ever-vocal mouth piece of PML-N glued to her iPhone and goes wherever Shabaz goes as his secretary and maid.
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FAZ Dec 14, 2022 05:52pm
Lets send a committee.. All women members!
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M.sattar Dec 14, 2022 06:00pm
The same faces keep appearing in Pakistani politics for decades until eventually they die. Pakistan will never prosper until this changes and fresh,honest personalities emerge.
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Rafi Dec 14, 2022 06:13pm
The mindset of a segment of Males, not just in Pakistan but the entire subcontinent needs to change….the emancipated women of the subcontinent are our torch bearers….if we leave it to them, there’s a good chance that they will unite us…
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Sid Dec 14, 2022 06:22pm
In front of mehdi she disgraced herself with not “in the room”repeats
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Punjabi first Dec 14, 2022 06:31pm
Chitrali needs to go back to herding sheep.
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Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Dec 14, 2022 06:41pm
United we stand, divided we fall.
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Bsd Dec 14, 2022 06:42pm
What has been the outcome of her meeting? Zero.
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John Dec 14, 2022 07:03pm
Women of Pakistan want nationwide change by legislation reforms, unfortunately we r seeing none of that, so i don't know what is the difference between the 2 country, Pakistan has to do more in areas of education, health, and increasing the participation of women within our economy
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Khurram Dec 14, 2022 07:07pm
Even thou she works for the crooks I think she is a competent Minister.
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Ehsan Dec 14, 2022 07:23pm
Hope more men speak up as well
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Ahmed Dec 14, 2022 07:38pm
Being a woman is no criteria for anything in state affairs. Neither is female MNAs backing someone .
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Imran Dec 14, 2022 07:39pm
Stupidity of these close minded religious type's knows no bounds. Well done Hina Rabbani Khar. We are proud of you.
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Aman Dec 14, 2022 07:40pm
Taliban did not take Hina Khar seriously and she achieved nothing form Afghanistan. All of these women are incompetent and not the real representative of Pakistani Women. Hina Khar = Belong feudal lord family Shazia Atta Marri = belong to Feudal lord family Marriyum Aurangzeb = Only qualifications i see in her is being a lying and exaggerating machine that is only good at shoe polishing for shrief family
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saksci Dec 14, 2022 07:43pm
They are all corrupt members of the elite families of Pakistan, without any qualifications or experience.
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RamRam Dec 14, 2022 07:45pm
Cool lady, nice RS 1 core handbags, well spoken. But, maybe, she should donate a little something for flood relief, instead of showing off her privilege.
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Soniye Tu Auder Te La Dec 14, 2022 08:00pm
Well these mullahs are in power because of the Neutrals. Every ill of Pakistan leads back to them.
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Dr T Dec 14, 2022 08:48pm
Is showing up for a meeting the only criteria for respect? All MNAs in question especially females live in a parallel universe enjoying the life of Gucci and Tommy etc with selfishness personified. Tell me your notable accomplishments for the common people on the street whether male or female instead of glassy pictures and earn proper respect.
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Ammarah Dec 14, 2022 09:29pm
Excellent decision to send Ms Khar to a country where woman aren't even allowed in the parks.
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Omar K Dec 14, 2022 09:37pm
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Hamid Dec 14, 2022 09:38pm
Can't understand why they use the gender card on this when Khar has absolutely no experience nor knowledge of their culture. She is better suited for Europe and America where she has gotten her education and worked there as well. Even sending Bilawal would have a bad move as he is also unaware of Taliban and Pashtun customs.
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MOIZ Dec 14, 2022 09:44pm
These women are tearing themselves down through their clumsy acts and statements
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Omar K Dec 14, 2022 09:46pm
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Mbappi Dec 14, 2022 09:52pm
Absolutely agree, however when the same happened with an ELECTED female member of parliament ZARTAJ GUL, these same people were assisting them. pharisaic virtue
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MONIER Dec 14, 2022 09:56pm
What a joke. 4 women being shown in a house of 340. There are many more smarter and brighter women who can do a better job than these 4 combined.
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Waqar (UK) Dec 14, 2022 09:57pm
Pakistan's women MNA'S and jet setter Hina Rabbani have one thing much in common, they love extremely expensive jewellery and handbags from abroad.
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Nadia Khan Dec 14, 2022 10:02pm
Nothing serious just a publicity stunt to stay relevant. In fact all the above women are just showgirls disguised as politicians.
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Bunny Dec 14, 2022 10:12pm
she represent all feudal society as the outsiders see it in Pak .
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Zim Dec 14, 2022 10:29pm
Only Talk and no work.
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Simba Dec 14, 2022 10:30pm
Nonsense -a weak symbol of Pakistani women and politicians.
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Ska Dec 14, 2022 10:57pm
Can we focus on what she achieved
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Taj Ahmad Dec 14, 2022 11:00pm
Great political ladies of democratic Pakistan, Pakistan Zindabad - Pakistan First.
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Usman Khan Dec 14, 2022 11:19pm
While we Pakistanis should respect our women it should be based on some criteria which none of these women meet. Being from or of a feudal mindset and being in a position of authority and leadership while not having any required qualities does not command any respect. All of these women mentioned, hina, maryam, shazia, etc. are part of and support the corrupt system in Pakistan. None of them have any grace and well earned respect that they think they have.
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K K TIWARI Dec 14, 2022 11:30pm
Let her meet Afghani leaders
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Parvez Dec 14, 2022 11:36pm
As Foreign Minister she was articulate and's a shame to see her working under a novice who I learning on the job.
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haroon Dec 15, 2022 12:30am
Smokescreen clouding the discussion on the real issues: Corruption
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Polaris Dec 15, 2022 12:47am
Sending Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar was the only choice than sending Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Minister of Foreign Affairs, whose preference is always to go to a particular country.
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Ramachander nanduri Dec 15, 2022 01:01am
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Liaquat ali Dec 15, 2022 01:38am
I agree with Moulana Akbar Chitrali statement about female negotiating with Afghan leaders. What credentials does Hina Rabbani has in international affairs. She is another example of born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She belongs to a feudal family of Punjab and a sweet heart of PPP. How many countries in the world have a foreign minister & a co-foreign minister jumping on a band wagon on poor peoples money. Flying first class and staying in 7 star hotels around the globe. Looters, plunderers in disguise of leadership can not represent the poor people of Pakistan.
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hussain Dec 15, 2022 01:49am
whether a man or a woman, its about their competency and understanding of world affairs, ufortunately the overwhelming of the politicians sitting in parliament are there because of their political family links, so Miss Hina is in parliament due to family links and as such she is not a remarkable politician just like her leader bilawal.
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Imran Dec 15, 2022 02:11am
How many of these women have you seen reaching out to the poor and needy in a personal capacity? - I rest my case.
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Rick Dec 15, 2022 03:22am
But no liquidity at all and running out of altitude...
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Fast comment Dec 15, 2022 05:42am
JI Chief Sirajul Haq could far better represent than anyone. Next time send him.
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Shahbaz Dec 15, 2022 05:45am
Ms. Khar is the right leader to send to Afghanistan or any other country to represent Pakistan. Anyone who thinks otherwise should rethink their regressive thoughts.
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Outspoken Dec 15, 2022 05:54am
Political gimmick at a time when polls are near. Subcontinent rhetoric at its best
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Sidhu Dec 15, 2022 06:39am
@Teripen Dillon they prefer combination of two.
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Tariq Dec 15, 2022 07:35am
@Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad united you fall and divided you fall. You are meant to fall
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Kashif Khan Dec 15, 2022 09:28am
Playing the woman card is no excuse for incompetence.
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Aisha Bashir Dec 15, 2022 10:07am
Well in my opinion only one phrase can sum up the whole thing: "Their(Afghan) culture should be observed...." . Lets not make it about men vs women. Our sole objective must be to get the job done, and this objective was clearly not met! It was totally unwise move by Pakistan. We could have get 1000s of chances to display our women empowerment etc etc to the world. Lets not forget Afghanistan case is an extremely sensitive & difficult to deal with one that even the super power of the world could not solve it in more than a decade. Resolution of any tension between Pakistan & Afghanistan is crucial for Pakistan's peace more than for any other country.
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Its me Dec 15, 2022 10:28am
Just because I'm a man or women means that I will throw my support to fellow gender regardless, it's time for us to grow up!
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M. Emad Dec 15, 2022 12:08pm
Fails in Diplomacy.
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