India has apparently fallen head over heels in love with Hina Rabbani Khar, the new lady foreign minister of Pakistan, who has arrived in New Delhi to engage in resumed peace talks with her Indian counterpart, S.K. Krishna.
Newspapers across India have Khar’s face plastered on covers, accompanied by flattering headlines.
Only 34, Khar is Pakistan’s first female foreign minister and one of the youngest high-level officials in the Islamabad government.
The Hindi-language newspaper Navbharat Times said India is "sweating over model-like minister," while the English-language daily Times of India featured the headline "Pak Puts On Its Best Face.’ Similarly, the Mumbai tabloid Mirror controversially quipped: "Pak bomb lands in India.”
Khar’s beauty and fashion sense were also lauded by Indian editors.
The Telegraph newspaper also pointed out the start contrast between the young and lovely Khar, with the Indian foreign minister, who is 79 years old.
"In the unkind world of adjectives, the odds are stacked against [Krishna] and in favor of ‘Khar]," the paper wrote. "Khar carries with ease descriptions such as 'stunning' and 'petite'."
However, some Indian commenters were appalled by the excessive focus on Khar’s appearance, while there were so many important topics to discuss and resolve between Indian and Pakistan.
Some also took exception of Khar having met with separatists from the disputed region of Kashmir, prior to her meeting with Krishna.
Nonetheless, Krishna provided a blandly optimistic assessment of his first tete-a-tete with Khar, saying negotiations are “on the right track.”
The two ministers issued a joint statement saying that their respective governments will engage in a bilateral effort to fight terrorism, increase trade relations and continue the dialogue over peace.
“We have some distance to travel, but with an open mind and a constructive approach…I am sure we can reach our desired destination of having a friendly and cooperative relationship,” Krishna said.
Khar chimed in: “A new generation of Indians and Pakistanis will see a relationship that will hopefully be much different from the one that has been experienced in the last two decades.”