Does your foreign minister own a Birkin?
‘What was she wearing?’ rather than ‘what was she saying?’ was the question that made the rounds during Hina Rabbani Khar’s Delhi visit this week.
As she sashayed off the plane onto the tarmac, glamorous HRK touched down in Delhi amidst the Indian press, her cobalt blue dupatta billowing in the wind. As happy as I am that she is Pakistan’s first female Foreign Minister, I have to ask this question (snarky as it may seem):
Could she not have done without the Hermes Birkin?
Before you brush me aside as a hater, let me clarify that I am a big supporter of well-groomed women (what’s wrong with being hot?). But was it really necessary for a minister from a poor, corruption-stricken country to brandish a limited edition bag that boasts luxury and probably costs somewhere between $10,000-$15,000?
Some colleagues disagreed with me, asking why HRK should be ashamed of her identity. They speculated that had she dressed down, people would have been equally critical. It was interesting to see that while most talked about her being a ‘weapon of mass distraction’ and speculated that many Pak-India talks would be scheduled in light of HRK’s visit, discussion of confidence-building measures between the two countries was largely trumped by:
“So what if she carries a Birkin? Every woman deserves a nice handbag.”
Forget Kashmir — while the Indian media went all out in praise of the attractive HRK and her tasteful accessories, guys on the web desk asked:
“Why didn’t she iron her clothes?”
Funnier still were comments on the news story ‘Delhi gushes over new Pakistani minister’, where readers said everything from:
“We will give her Kashmir on a plate if she requests it.”
“As long as she wears a headscarf, she is a behenji.”
Who talked about what she actually said in her official role? Not many on my Twitter timeline.
All of one lone voice tweeted:
fotespeaks Dear Pakistanis, we do not hate beauty if we question HRK’s credentials. We just want to check what the heck is she bringing to the table?
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.