Rabbani to be sworn as Pak FM this week

Hina Rabbani Khar, set to become Pakistan`s youngest and first female Foreign Minister, is expected to be sworn in later this week.

Last Updated: Jul 19, 2011, 12:17 PM IST

Islamabad: Hina Rabbani Khar, set to
become Pakistan`s youngest and first female Foreign Minister, is expected to be sworn in later this week after President
Asif Ali Zardari returns from a day-long visit to Afghanistan.

Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the government had already decided in principle that Khar, 34, would be elevated as a federal minister.

"So far, no date for the oath taking has been set but
it may take two to three days," he told the media.

The swearing-in ceremony is expected to be held on
Wednesday or Thursday as President Zardari is travelling to
Afghanistan for a day today.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, before his
departure to Britain on a private visit yesterday, advised the
President to make Khar the Foreign Minister.

Gilani met Khar at the Prime Minister`s House before
leaving for London and discussed her new role.

Zardari is travelling to Kabul to offer condolences to Afghan President Hamid Karzai on his brother`s assassination.

He will also discuss bilateral issues and the regional and international situation.

Khar`s first foreign engagement after her elevation
is likely to be a meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum to be
held in Bali, Indonesia, during July 22-23.

However, some reports suggested that Khar might be
made a full-fledged minister after her return from Bali and
before her departure for New Delhi for Foreign Minister-level
talks to be held at the end of July.

PTI